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Ask the expert
Concomitant disorders

What percent of Down's Syndrome patients develop Alzheimer Disease?

If they reach the age of 65 or 70, it is 100%.
-Judes Poirier, Ph.D., Mini-Psych School 2006

Does sleep apnea have any correlation with Alzheimer's over time?

No but there is a recent association, however, between apnea and depression. Although surprising, when we look at the biology behind it, it makes a lot of sense.
-Judes Poirier, Ph.D., Mini-Psych School 2006

Is there a link between mad cow disease and Alzheimer's?

No. However, it's a good example because mad cow disease is caused by a virus. Researchers use mad cow disease as a prototype for a theoretical Alzheimer's virus. The reason? Mad cow disease kills many cells and the affected people eventually develop memory and other problems. However, it is not the same disease as Alzheimer's disease.
-Judes Poirier, Ph.D., Mini-Psych School 2006

What is the evidence of an association between concussion and Alzheimer’s disease?

It has been shown that people who have experienced head injuries, especially repeated head injuries resulting in loss of consciousness, are at increased risks of dementia. To be at an increased risk, however, you have to have multiple concussions or a severe brain injury that causes loss of consciousness or amnesia for more than 24 hours. As far as we know, the usual kinds of concussions that unfortunately many people experience are not associated with an increased risk of dementia. Currently, a lot of research is being conducted, especially on soldiers fighting in wars in the Middle East and who get blast injuries from IED explosions. There’s a tremendous interest in the relationship between the blast injury or concussion and the appearance of dementia. For the moment, we don’t have all the answers. There may be some associations, but this topic needs more study.
-John Breitner, MD, MPH, Mini-Psych School 2012

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