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Could one woman help researchers find a cure for Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most typical lead to of dementia, which contributes to a decline in memory, contemplating, and social competencies. A lot more than five million individuals in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s, which presently has no heal. 

But final results from a study funded by the Nationwide Institutes of Health and fitness provide a new direction for developing a treatment.

Researchers seemed at a large, prolonged family members in Colombia, South The us. Quite a few customers of that family members have a gene distinction that results in Alzheimer’s symptoms early, generally in their 40s, instead than immediately after age 65.

Of the far more than six,000 individuals in the family members, about 20% experienced this gene distinction. Absolutely everyone who experienced it developed difficulties with contemplating early—except one particular woman.

Contrary to her family members customers, this woman failed to have symptoms till she was in her 70s. This interested the scientists, and she volunteered for mind imaging and genetic tests to enable them recognize why her Alzheimer’s developed later.

Images of her mind confirmed much less destruction than is usually seen in individuals with the disease. The final results of the genetic tests have been also intriguing. It turned out that the woman experienced two copies of a exceptional variation in the APOE gene, called APOE3ch.

This discovery could go a lengthy way in supporting to advance Alzheimer’s investigate, for illustration, by mimicking how this gene variation influences the mind.

“In some cases near investigation of a single scenario can guide to discovery that could have broad implications for the area,” says Nationwide Institute on Growing older Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D.