Rare Nephrology News

Disease Profile

Late-Onset Familial Alzheimer Disease

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Late-onset familial Alzheimer disease, is a form of familial Alzheimer disease, that begins after age 65. In general, Alzheimer disease (AD) is a degenerative disease of the brain that causes gradual loss of memory, judgement and the ability to function socially. The exact underlying cause of late-onset familial AD is not completely understood; however, researchers suspect that it is a complex condition, which is likely associated with multiple susceptibility genes in combination with environmental and lifestyle factors.[1] A gene called APOE has been studied extensively as a risk factor for the disease. In particular, a variant of this gene called the "e4 allele" seems to increase an individual's risk for developing late-onset Alzheimer disease (people who have this allele are said to have the late-onset familial AD type 2). It is important to understand that APOE is a susceptibility gene, not a determinative gene, which means that people having two copies of this allele have an increased risk of having AD but not necessarily will have it.[2] There is no cure for AD. Treatment is supportive and based on the signs and symptoms present in each person.[1]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Late-Onset Familial Alzheimer Disease. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

      In-Depth Information

      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Late-Onset Familial Alzheimer Disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Alzheimer Disease Overview. GeneReviews. September 24, 2015; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1161/. Accessed 9/30/2015.
        2. Alzheimer Disease. Genetics Home Reference. May, 2013; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition=alzheimerdisease. Accessed 9/30/2015.
        3. Sherva N & Kowall NW. Genetics of Alzheimer disease. UpToDate. 2016; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/genetics-of-alzheimer-disease.
        4. Sherva N & Kowall NW. Genetics of Alzheimer disease. UpToDate. 2016; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/genetics-of-alzheimer-disease.