Alzheimer's disease is infrequently a genetically driven disease. Rather it is the product of free radical injury inflicted over decades after an initial insult to the central nervous system (CNS). The brain is uniquely sensitive to oxidative injury. A variety of insults to the CNS are now associated with Alzheimer's disease. These include hypertension, diabetes, and head trauma. These then cause a cytokine cascade and microlocalized inflammation in the CNS, that in time results in clinical Alzheimer's disease. By the ninth decade of life over half of the population manifests Alzheimer's disease. Prevention or reversal of this pathophysiology will lie in administration of effective antioxidant therapy with specific treatments when etiologies are known.
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