Objective: To examine the evidence that genetic factors influence the development of BPSD in addition to influencing risk.
Design: A review of the key literature and research in progress.
Materials and Methods: Medline and Embase Literature search (1970 - present).
Results: Early studies have shown evidence of an association between a positive family history of depressive illness and an increase in the frequency of depressive symptoms occurring for the first time within Alzheimer's disease(AD). These findings are supported by a sib-pair study that shows that familial factors play a role in the development a wide variety of BPSD including depressive illness, agitation, aggression and psychosis.
Recently, a more direct approach has also been adopted whereby common genetic polymorphisms, previously showing associations with other neuropsychiatric conditions, have been found to be associated with BPSD in late onset AD. Thus studies of late onset AD subjects have found associations between a number of common genetic polymorphisms in the serotonergic, dopaminergic and other neurochemical systems with a variety of BPSD
Conclusion: In AD, studies clearly suggest that common receptor polymorphisms play a role in the genesis of BPSD that are not implicated as genetic risk factors for late onset AD.
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