April 17, 2024

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Could one woman help researchers find a cure for Alzheimer’s?

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Alzheimer’s illness is the most typical result in of dementia, which contributes to a decline in memory, thinking, and social skills. Additional than five million persons in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s, which currently has no treatment. 

But final results from a research funded by the Nationwide Institutes of Wellness supply a new course for developing a cure.

Researchers appeared at a massive, extended family members in Colombia, South The us. Quite a few members of that family members have a gene variation that leads to Alzheimer’s symptoms early, typically in their 40s, alternatively than right after age sixty five.

Of the extra than six,000 persons in the family members, about twenty% had this gene variation. Anyone who had it developed issues with thinking early—except 1 lady.

Not like her family members members, this lady did not have symptoms until she was in her 70s. This intrigued the scientists, and she volunteered for mind imaging and genetic screening to enable them have an understanding of why her Alzheimer’s developed afterwards.

Images of her mind confirmed a lot less injury than is typically observed in persons with the illness. The final results of the genetic screening had been also intriguing. It turned out that the lady had two copies of a uncommon variation in the APOE gene, termed APOE3ch.

This discovery could go a lengthy way in assisting to progress Alzheimer’s research, for case in point, by mimicking how this gene variation impacts the mind.

“From time to time near investigation of a solitary situation can direct to discovery that could have wide implications for the discipline,” states Nationwide Institute on Growing old Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D.