1992 Volume 29 Issue 2 Pages 129-134
Using reverse genetic techniques, the gene responsible for familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) is one of the clues to identify the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently a missense mutation in the APP (amyloid precursor protein) gene (generally this mutation was called APP717) was detected in 2 Caucasian AD families and the same mutation was found in 3 Japanese AD families. We experienced brother's cases who were diagnosed as AD. Both of them and one normal person of the next generation had APP717. The first symptom of the elder brother (case 1) was forgetfulness at 52 years old, then dementia was advanced. In his clinical course there were characteristic findings such as the mirror sign, pseudodialog and jargon which has been rarely described in the Japanese literature. Finally he died of pneumonia at 57 years old. He was diagnosed as AD pathologically and physical findings of brain CT, SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) and EEG supported this diagnosis clinically. The first symptom of the younger brother (case 2) was also forgetfulness at 45 years old, then severe dementia was advanced, at last he died of pneumonia at age 53 old. On the other hand the mother of the brothers died of severe dementia, so it was suspected that brothers died of sever dementia, so it was suspected that she had had AD. The clinical courses and pathological findings were thought to be typical of AD, namely there were no significant differences in comparison with other cases of FAD and sporadic AD. Special features included jargon clinically, in addition to free melanin granules and neuronal loss in the substantia nigra pathologically. We discussed the importance of investigation of Japanese AD families and future strategies of molecular biological analysis of FAD.