Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease in monozygotic twins


  • A substantial genetic and shared environmental background contributes to both amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau increases in monozygotic (MZ) twins with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Why this matters ?

  • Although Aβ aggregation and tau pathology can occur long before clinical AD is diagnosed, the underlying mechanisms are unclear; and while, twin studies suggest that genetic factors may explain a large proportion of AD-type dementia variance, whether this is also the case for AD biomarkers in cognitively normal older adults remains unknown.

  • The impact of shared genetic/environmental influences on AD pathogenesis is highlighted; thus, further study incorporating other factors in preclinical AD MZ twins, including obesity, educational attainment or substance misuse, may provide additional insight into AD pathogenesis.