Canadian Alzheimer’s Study Finds Gene That Delays Onset of Alzheimer’s
An exciting recent Canadian study has found a genetic variation that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s by as much as four years.
The study, undertaken by Judes Poirier and his team at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University in Montreal, found a variant of a cholesterol-regulating gene which can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Previous studies have found a link between cholesterol and Alzheimer’s. This study found a variant to the normal gene, and found that those with the variant, about 25% of the population, develop Alzheimer’s about four or five years later than those without it. According to the press release, “Over the past two decades, research efforts around the globe have focused on identifying genetic and environmental factors responsible for causing or accelerating the progression of the common form of Alzheimer’s disease. However, little was known about possible protective genetic factors that can delay or even prevent the disease onset in humans.”
The next step would be to build on this research by developing a drug which would mimic the effect of the genetic variation for non-carriers. In particular, scientists are looking to develop a brain-specific cholesterol-regulating statin.
According to the report, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is interested in the research.
There is currently no preventive treatment for Alzheimer’s.
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