Early-onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease: prevalence, genetic heterogeneity, and mutation spectrum

Am J Hum Genet. 1999 Sep;65(3):664-70. doi: 10.1086/302553.


To determine the prevalence of early-onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD) and of autosomal dominant forms of EOAD (ADEOAD), we performed a population-based study in the city of Rouen (426,710 residents). EOAD was defined as onset of disease at age <61 years, and ADEOAD was defined as the occurrence of at least three EOAD cases in three generations. Using these stringent criteria, we calculated that the EOAD and ADEOAD prevalences per 100,000 persons at risk were 41.2 and 5.3, respectively. We then performed a mutational analysis of the genes for amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 (PSEN1), and presenilin 2 (PSEN2) in 34 families with ADEOAD ascertained in France. In 19 (56%) of these families, we identified 16 distinct PSEN1 missense mutations, including 4 (Thr147Ile, Trp165Cys, Leu173Trp, and Ser390Ile) not reported elsewhere. APP mutations, including a novel mutation located at codon 715, were identified in 5 (15%) of the families. In the 10 remaining ADEOAD families and in 9 additional autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease families that did not fulfill the strict criteria for ADEOAD, no PSEN1, PSEN2, or APP mutation was identified. These results show that (1) PSEN1 and APP mutations account for 71% of ADEOAD families and (2) nonpenetrance at age <61 years is probably infrequent for PSEN1 or APP mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset*
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / genetics
  • Codon / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Exons / genetics
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, Dominant*
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Penetrance
  • Presenilin-1
  • Presenilin-2
  • Prevalence


  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Codon
  • Membrane Proteins
  • PSEN1 protein, human
  • PSEN2 protein, human
  • Presenilin-1
  • Presenilin-2