Study: New Candidates for Genetic Variants for Alzheimer’s Disease

Medical professionals are still working to uncover the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. While they believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors paired with certain lifestyle choices leads to the neurodegenerative disease, there is no concrete cause. Recently, Alzheimer’s and Dementia published a study that aimed to uncover more about the genetic variants behind Alzheimer’s. This study discovered 11 possible candidates.

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that occurs when the brain cells degenerate and die off. The progression occurs in stages, with the final stages consisting of significant memory loss and the inability to live independently. Symptoms of AD include changes in personality and behavior, memory loss, and issues with preserved skills, decision making, judgment, reasoning, thinking, and completing familiar tasks.

Medical professionals are unsure as to what the exact cause of this disease is, but they suspect that it is a combination of genetic factors, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. Research has revealed that plaques and tangles may play a role in neuron death, although further investigation must be done. Additionally, there are known risk factors, which include being over the age of 65, being female, a family history of the disease, unhealthy lifestyle choices, head trauma, poor sleeping patterns, and minimal exercise. There is currently no cure for this condition, and treatment aims to retain memory and cognitive ability for as long as possible.

About the Study

The research, which was partially conducted at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, focused on 19 families from Utah who were impacted by higher than normal rates of Alzheimer’s disease. Two cousins were taken from each of the families, and genetic sequencing was performed. The researchers then looked for any matching genetic variants between the two family members.

After the analysis was completed, the researchers had discovered eleven genetic variants spanning ten different genes. Some of these variants were even found on previously discovered Alzheimer’s risk genes.

Looking Forward

Learning more about the driving forces behind Alzheimer’s disease could lead to more targeted treatments, better diagnostic techniques, and earlier diagnosis and treatment for patients. As AD is a progressive disease, early intervention is integral. While further research must be conducted, this newly discovered information is extremely helpful.

Find the source article here.

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