It is yet a mystery as to what indeed causes Alzheimer’s disease. Study so far has brought about three strong possible reasons. The strongest among them all, called cholinergic hypothesis, has been utilized to design the present treatment system. It is based on the fact that lack of neurotransmitter acetylcholine is its cause. Another hypothesis states that it is caused by amyloid beta deposits (amyloid hypothesis). But APEO4 – one of the biggest reasons for Alzheimer’s – is a cause for the amyloid increase in the brain which means that amyloid beta exists before symptoms of AD show.

Preliminary tests conducted showed that a vaccine cleared the amyloid but it did not do anything for the dementia. It led to reason to believe that non-plaque Aβ oligomers could be the cause. They stick to surface receptors on neurons which results in a change of the structure of the synapse eventually disturbing neuronal communication.

As of 2009, it was found out that a relative of the beta-amyloid protein was behind the occurrence of the disease. The latest was that an amyloid-related mechanism cuts neuronal connections inside the brain during the fast growth phases of early life. This is triggered by process that are related to aging during the later years of life which causes the eventual neuronal breaking down which is Alzheimer’s Disease.

N-APP starts the process by sticking onto a neuronal receptor named death receptor 6 (DR6 or TNFRSF21). It is a fragment of APP which is in the N-terminus of the peptide. Adjacent to beta-amyloid and is cleaved by one of the enzymes of the same family. The areas of the human brain that go bad due to Alzheimer’s Disease has a high concentration of this. This leads to the possibility that the N-APP/DR6 pathway gets strangled in the brain that is growing old hence causing the disease.
Alzheimer’s has its risk factors.

The risk factors of Alzheimer’s have been well researched and studied with detailed information about the chances it has to affect someone. The risk of getting Alzheimer’s gets bigger with age. To be exact between 65 and 85, every 5.5 years the chance of someone contracting Alzheimer’s Disease doubles. At the age of 70, there is a maximum chance of 2 per cent risk of getting it while at 85 there is a 40 per cent chance of getting it. Women as opposed to men have a higher chance of getting the disease. Among the combined group, people with many head injuries are majorly prone to it. Genetic factors come in the age bracket before 65 have a less than 1 per cent of ever falling prey to it.

In the lower age bracket of between 30 and 49, those who have Down Syndrome are prone to get Alzheimer’s Disease. Other factors include bad education level, high blood pressure and even high cholesterol. Exposure to material like aluminum also play a role research has shown.