Alzheimer disease (AD) is a chronic disorder that slowly destroys neurons and causes serious cognitive disability. AD is associated with senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Amyloid-beta (Abeta), a major component of senile plaques, has various pathological effects on cell and organelle function. To date genetic studies have revealed four genes that may be linked to autosomal dominant or familial early onset AD (FAD). These four genes include: amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 (PS1), presenilin 2 (PS2) and apolipoprotein E (ApoE). All mutations associated with APP and PS proteins can lead to an increase in the production of Abeta peptides, specfically the more amyloidogenic form, Abeta42. It was proposed that Abeta form Ca2+ permeable pores and bind to and modulate multiple synaptic proteins, including NMDAR, mGluR5 and VGCC, leading to the overfilling of neurons with calcium ions. Consequently, cellular Ca2+ disruptions will lead to neuronal apoptosis, autophagy deficits, mitochondrial abnormality, defective neurotransmission, impaired synaptic plasticity and neurodegeneration in AD. FAD-linked PS1 mutation downregulates the unfolded protein response and leads to vulnerability to ER stress.