Neuroscientists are making progress in discovering more about the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease patients suffer from dementia and sever memory loss. Autopsies performed on such patients have revealed the presence of brain lesions caused by abnormal protein deposits. Similar deposits are also found in the brains of elderly patients who do not suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It follows that everyone who lives long enough will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion that everyone who lives long enough will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease?
(A) The lesions found in the brains of non-Alzheimer’s disease patients are far less extensive than those found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
(B) The developing brain produces a greater number of cells than it will ever use. The extra cells are later destroyed by what biologists call “programmed cell death.”
(C) The procedure that allows scientists to discover the presence of protein deposits during an autopsy is not yet refined enough to ensure detection of the lesions in all patients.
(D) Autopsies have shown that some people lack the chemical necessary for protein deposits to cause brain lesions.
(E) Though most Alzheimer’s disease patients develop the disease when they are in their late fifties to early seventies, the frequency of patients who develop the disease in their forties is on the rise.