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Study confirms genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's

Study confirms genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's
14th October 2010

Scientific research has shed some light on one of the known genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

According to researchers from the Gladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease have been studying the apoE4 protein - a known bio-marker for Alzheimer's disease, carried by 65 per cent of those people with the condition.

It was found that apoE4-dependent memory functions can be impaired by the loss of a particular type of neuron in the brain.

Lead researcher Dr Yadong Huang says that genetically-engineered mice were used to confirm the process involved with this type of protein and memory loss.

"Importantly, apoE4 causes neuron loss and learning and memory deficits in the absence of Ab peptide accumulation, a widely suspected toxin in Alzheimer's disease," Dr Huang said.

According to research conducted by the Alzheimer's Society, caring for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia costs the UK economy more than £20 billion each year.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.