Gene discovery could change Alzheimer's approach

Gene discovery could change Alzheimer's approach

A new discovery in regards to genes could change the way scientists seek to tackle Alzheimer's.

Individuals with a mutated form of the gene APOE - known as APOE4 - have a heightened risk of developing the degenerative condition. 

However, a man was found not to have the gene at all yet he experienced no problems with his cognitive abilities. This has led scientists to believe that lowering the levels of APOE will have no adverse effect on patients, which could lead to successful treatments* methods in the future.

Study author and professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco Bruce Miller said in an interview: "[Turning off APOE in the brain] gives some hope to the idea that we might have very selective ways of down regulating APOE4 in the brain and diminishing its risk for Alzheimer's."

It is believed around one in five individuals carry the mutated form of the gene.

The full findings of this research can be viewed in the journal JAMA Neurology. 

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