Alzheimer Gene Carriers Found To Have Memory Problems

by Medindia Content Team on  January 27, 2005 at 1:22 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Alzheimer Gene Carriers Found To Have Memory Problems
According to findings from a recent study researchers say, healthy older people with the gene type that increases Alzheimer's risk may have major problems with prospective memory, or remembering what to do in the future .

A group of 32 dementia-free adults between ages 60 and 87 who took part in a previous study that examined people with and without the "Alzheimer's gene" were studied. Results showed those with the genotype for increased Alzheimer's risk had far worse prospective memories than those without the genotype.

According to researchers "Alzheimer's gene" is a certain variation or allele of a gene called ApoE (Apolipoprotein E) which is responsible for switching on a protein in the blood that helps carry cholesterol. ApoE has three variations and about one-fifth of people carry the e-4 variation, which is linked to Alzheimer's disease.

People who carry the e-4 variation on both their ApoE genes are eight-times as likely to develop Alzheimer's than those who are not carriers. People with the e-4 variation on one of their ApoE genes have triple the Alzheimer's risk compared to non-carriers. Thus researchers say, measuring prospective memory may be used as an early diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease.

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