Uninherited Alzheimer’s disease is a common form that usually affects older people, whereas the much rarer, inherited form — also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s — strikes people much earlier in life, sometimes as young as 30 or 40.  Now, a new study led by Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, finds there are networks in the brain that are affected in a similar way by both forms of the disease.

Reporting the findings in the journal JAMA Neurology, the international team suggests that in both inherited and uninherited forms of Alzheimer’s, the same basic component of brain function begins to decline about five years before symptoms such as memory loss become obvious.

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