Medindia

X

Alzheimer's Gene also Sharpens Young Minds

by Trilok Kapur on  February 17, 2010 at 12:02 PM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
 Alzheimer's Gene also Sharpens Young Minds
Researchers have found a genetic variant that raises the risk of Alzheimer's disease, can improve the brain function of carriers when they are younger.

"From an evolutionary perspective it makes sense," says Duke Han at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Advertisement

Professor Han's work examined epsilon 4, a variant of a particular gene known as apolipoprotein E or APOE, reports New Scientist.

Advertisement
The epsilon 4 variant is the best-established genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Having one copy increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's at least fourfold compared with people who have other forms of the gene. A person with two copies has up to 20 times the risk.

The plus points of epsilon 4 emerged several years ago. It was when Han's team scanned the APOE genes of 78 American soldiers. All had suffered traumatic brain injuries, many while serving in Iraq. Sixteen had at least one copy of epsilon 4. Han's team expected to find that these carriers would be in worse cognitive shape than their counterparts with different versions of APOE, given previous studies that showed elderly people with epsilon 4 fare worse after head injury. But the opposite was true: soldiers with the epsilon 4 allele had better memory and attention spans.

The study was reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

In another study, conducted in 2000, it was found that young women with epsilon 4 have IQs a few points higher than those with no copies of the variant and score 7 points higher on the non-verbal portion of a common intelligence test. The study was published in Neuroscience Letters.

Source: ANI
TRI
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All