Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People From Large Families May Have Greater Risk Of Alzheimer's

Date:
January 26, 2000
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
Children in large families may have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than children from smaller families, according to a study in the January 25 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

ST. PAUL, MN – Children in large families may have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than children from smaller families, according to a study in the January 25 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study found that the risk of developing Alzheimer's increases by eight percent for each additional sibling in the family. Those growing up with five or more siblings have a 39-percent greater risk of developing the disease than those with fewer than five siblings.

The study examined 770 people age 60 and older who were members of a large health maintenance organization in Seattle, Wash. Of the participants, 393 had Alzheimer's disease and 377 had no signs of dementia.

Researchers looked at whether any environmental factors in the participants' childhood were related to developing Alzheimer's. "The early-life environment and its effect on the growth and maturation of children is linked to many adult diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes," said study author Victoria Moceri, PhD, of the University of Washington. "We wanted to test whether Alzheimer's may also have a link to the early-life environment."

The areas of the brain that show the earliest signs of Alzheimer's are the same areas of the brain that take the longest time to mature during childhood and adolescence, Moceri said. "A poor quality childhood environment could prevent the brain from reaching a complete level of maturation," she said. "The effects of impaired development could produce a brain that is normal, but functions less efficiently."

Moceri said the negative effects of this less efficient brain would likely be marginal until they were aggravated by the aging process.

"Families with five or more children were more likely to be from the lower socioeconomic levels, and therefore more likely to have poor growth rates," Moceri said. Researchers also found that children who grew up in the suburbs were less likely to develop Alzheimer's than those who grew up on farms or in the city.

Moceri noted that suburbs in the early 1900s when these people were growing up were sparsely populated.

"This could reflect the benefits of higher socioeconomic status and less exposure to infectious disease," Moceri said. "During the early 1900s, infectious diseases were more frequent in urban areas than in less densely populated areas. Children growing up in the suburbs may have been more likely to have better nutrition and less exposure to infectious disease, leaving more energy for normal growth and development.

"But, following this logic, we expected to find that children who grew up on farms were less likely to develop the disease than those who grew up in the city, and that wasn't the case. But many farming families during this era experienced economic difficulties and left their farms for jobs in the city. We weren't able to separate out those who grew up on successful farms and those who came from families that lost their farms, so we weren't fully able to test that hypothesis." Researchers also examined the mother's age at the child's birth and the birth order within the family and found no relationship between those factors and whether the child developed Alzheimer's disease.

###

The study was supported in part by grants from the National Institute on Aging.

A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 16,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its Web site at http://www.aan.com. For online neurological health and wellness information, visit NeuroVista at http://www.aan.com/neurovista.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "People From Large Families May Have Greater Risk Of Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000126075929.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2000, January 26). People From Large Families May Have Greater Risk Of Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000126075929.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "People From Large Families May Have Greater Risk Of Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/01/000126075929.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins