Dementia development more likely with maternal history of disease

PEOPLE are more likely to develop dementia if their mother had the disease compared with those whose father had it, a study suggests.

Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s disease confers a fourfold to tenfold increased risk of developing dementia.

Now, a brain-imaging study of 53 people without dementia at age 60, followed for two years, found those with a maternal history of dementia had twice as much grey matter shrinkage and 1.5 times as much whole brain shrinkage compared with those with paternal history or no parental history of the disease.

Neurology 2011; 76:822-29