Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease has been on the forefront of a massive amount of research in the last decades. Despite there not being a cure for it, the research continues to explore different aspects of the therapy. One such aspect is the detection and potential prevention. This mental illness that affects 5.1 million Americans is known to be mostly caused by genetic disorder. Based on this information, a new genetic test was recently developed by an international team of researchers led by a University of California scientist and was able to successfully predict the age at which a given subject might contract the disease many years before they do.

The test based on the genetic information and age of the subject was developed using the genetic data of over 70 thousand people both healthy and suffering from Alzheimer. Given that the illness is known to be majorly dependent on the family history of having a gene called ApoE, the test analyzes 31 different markers in the genetic code that relate to the gene. After its development, the test was trialled on a different cohort and brought some very conclusive results.

  • In those with a particularly dangerous version of ApoE, the people at the top of the risk scale in the test were effectively diagnosed with the disease at 84 years old while those at the lower end only got it at 95.
  • While these results are extremely positive, the tested cohort is still a limited one due to the fact that it’s exclusively based in the United States. Despite this however, the method can still be used to identify potential trial subjects for further research that would aim at the ultimate goal of any Alzheimer study, that of preventing Alzheimer symptoms from occurring at all.

Experts say that this might happen sooner rather than later given the current state of research in this field, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t currently several different ways of curbing the risk of the disease, the most important of which remains a healthy diet, regular physical exercise and constant mental activity.