Gene doubles Alzheimer’s risk in African Americans

04/2013

A study involving nearly 6,000 African American older adults has found those with a specific gene variant have almost double the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease compared with African Americans who lack the variant. The size of the effect is comparable to that of the ‘Alzheimer’s gene’, APOE-e4.

The gene (ABCA7) is involved in the production of cholesterol and lipids. It also affects the transport of several important proteins, including amyloid precursor protein, which is involved in the production of amyloid-beta.

The finding suggests that lipid metabolism may be a more important pathway in Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans than in whites. Cholesterol and lipid imbalances are more common in African Americans.

The gene does not seem to be a significant risk factor for whites, adding more weight to the idea that there are multiple pathways to the disease, and showing that the genetic underpinnings may vary among different populations (although it should be noted that other genes linked to Alzheimer’s risk in white populations were also significant for this group).

http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/gene-tied-to-double-alzheimers-risk-in-african-americans/

[3364] Reitz C, J. G.
(2013).  VAriants in the atp-binding cassette transporter (abca7), apolipoprotein e ϵ4,and the risk of late-onset alzheimer disease in african americans.
JAMA. 309(14), 1483 - 1492.

Related News

Analysis of eight studies on diet and stroke published between 1990 and 2012 has found that risk of first-time stroke dropped with every 7g increase in total daily fibre. That amount of fibre is contained in a bowl of wholewheat pasta plus two servings of fruit or vegetables.

A 2-year trial involving 251 patients with Parkinson's disease and early motor complications (mean age, 52 years; mean duration of disease, 7.5 years) has found that those given deep brain stimulation surgery significantly improved their quality of life, motor disability, activities of daily

Brain scans of 61 older adults (65-90), of whom 30 were cognitively healthy, 24 cognitively impaired and 7 diagnosed with dementia, found that, across all groups, both memory and executive function correlated negatively with brain infarcts, many of which had been clinically silent.

A small study of “Super Agers” has found a key difference between them and typical older adults: an unusually large

Preliminary findings from a small study show that older adults (68-91), after learning to use Facebook, performed about 25% better on tasks designed to measure their ability to continuously monitor and to quickly add or delete the contents of their

Recent research has suggested that sleep problems might be a risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s, and in mild cognitive impairment.

The issue of the effect of menopause on women’s cognition, and whether hormone therapy helps older women fight cognitive decline and dementia, has been a murky one. Increasing evidence suggests that the timing and type of therapy is critical.

A new study adds more support to the idea that the increasing difficulty in learning new information and skills that most of us experience as we age is not down to any difficulty in acquiring new information, but rests on the interference from all the old information.

I’ve written before about the gathering evidence that sensory impairment, visual impairment and hearing loss in particular, is a risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Here’s an encouraging study for all those who think that, because of age or physical damage, they must resign themselves to whatever cognitive impairment or decline they have suffered.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news