Gene Long Linked to Alzheimer’s Memory Loss Is Innocent - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A report published in JAMA Neurology suggests that DNA that scientists have long thought was linked to memory loss and cognitive limits in Alzheimer’s disease may not effect either, Bloomberg reported.
  • In the study, which involved one man, researchers found no neurological signs of Alzheimer’s even though he lacked a protein normally produced by healthy forms of the APOE gene, which helps carry cholesterol in the body.
  • The finding may mean scientists can disable a mutated form of the DNA that’s been associated with the protein clumps in the brain found in Alzheimer’s without harming a person’s ability to think, said study author Mary Malloy.
  • Further, minimizing the variant gene, dubbed APOE4, “may provide us with a new venue for intervention with Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive disorders.”
  • Joachim Herz, who wrote an accompanying editorial, said now that it’s been shown that a lack of APOE isn’t harmful to the brain, researchers can begin looking for ways to shut off the gene just within the brain.
  • “This opens the door to explore such possibilities more rigorously because we have the proof of concept that reducing APOE isn’t harmful to patients,” Herz noted.

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