According to a study, siblings of people with Alzheimer's and psychosis are prone to suffer this form of dementia. More than half of patients with Alzheimer's disease suffer from psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. This is an especially serious form of the condition, linked with more aggressive behaviour, more swift decline and earlier need for institutional care.
Researchers at the Alzheimer's disease Research Center in Dallas, US, have found that Alzheimer's with psychosis tends to run in families. They studied 200 people with the condition and found a further 400 siblings who had the condition. Analysis showed that a sibling of an affected person had more than double the average risk of also developing Alzheimer's with psychosis.
This is an important step towards finding the genes that may be involved in this severe form of Alzheimer's disease. It's also possible that affected siblings were exposed to similar early childhood environmental factors that may play a role in Alzheimer's.