About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Gene Linked With Double Alzheimer's Risk Identified

by Sheela Philomena on April 10, 2013 at 9:32 AM
Font : A-A+

 Gene Linked With Double Alzheimer's Risk Identified

In African-Americans, a new gene variant doubles the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease, finds study.

But the gene doesn't seem to be affiliated with higher incidence of Alzheimer's among white populations, the scientists said in the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


"These findings suggest that the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer's disease may vary among different populations -- and so should not be treated homogeneously," said first author Christiane Reitz of Columbia University Medical Center.

African-Americans have much higher rates of late-onset Alzheimer's -- by far the most common form of the disease -- than whites. But "until now, data on the genetics of Alzheimer's in this patient population have been extremely limited," said senior author Richard Mayeux, also of Columbia.

The new study analyzed genetic data from nearly 6,000 African-American participants, the largest genome-wide search for Alzheimer's genes among the population group.

The study helped scientists confirm that the ABCA7 gene variant is linked to a higher incidence of late-onset Alzheimer's among African Americans. The gene is involved in the production of cholesterol and lipids.

Imbalances in these two molecules can lead to vascular disease and strokes -- and, thanks to this new research, may be related to the development of dementia.

This suggests that treatments that fight high cholesterol and vascular disease may also prove effective at warding off Alzheimer's disease among African-Americans.

The research also confirmed that a second gene variant, long known to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's among whites, is also affiliated with higher risk among African-Americans.

"Both genes raise the risk of Alzheimer's in this population twofold," said Reitz, who noted that previous results from smaller studies had been inconsistent.

Likewise, the study confirmed that several other genes that had been linked to a higher risk of the disease among whites also played a role among blacks.

"Because they cross ethnic groups, the likelihood increases that these genes are very important in the development of Alzheimer's," Reitz added.

Separately, researchers have genetically engineered a rat with all the symptoms of Alzheimer's, enabling them to pinpoint some of the key mechanisms behind the disease.

The study, also published Tuesday, in the Journal of Neuroscience, supports the theory that Alzheimer's is caused by increases in a molecule called beta-amyloid, which form the plaques in the brain that are the disease's hallmark.

Researchers said the rats will also be helpful for testing the effectiveness of new drugs to fight the dementia.

Some 5.3 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And nearly 90 percent of those cases are the late-onset form.

By 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer's is expected to more than double because of the aging population, the CDC has said.

A study earlier this month in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that dementia will cost US society between $41,000 and $56,000 per person every year.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Alzheimers Disease DNA Finger Printing Weaver Syndrome Diet and Alzheimer´s Disease Genetics of Alzheimer´s disease 

Recommended Reading
Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting memory and thinking and ......
Quiz On Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Participate in this quiz to find out ....
Caring for Alzheimers disease patients
Alzheimer's disease is a complex brain disorder that triggers the most common form of dementia. The ...
Early Alzheimers in Drivers may Prove Potentially Dangerous
Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University have revealed that people with early ......
Diet and Alzheimer´s Disease
Alzheimer''s begins with forgetfulness, but over time affects speech and coordination along with dra...
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Genetics of Alzheimer´s disease
There are numerous genes that have been discovered that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease and ...
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use