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Medicine: Alzheimer's and heart attacks share the same genes
Date:12/9/2010

affected by Alzheimer and suffering a heart attack. This common genetic predisposition was found in 30 percent of heart attack sufferers and 40 per cent of those affected by Alzheimer. To reach this conclusion, the researches separated all those tested into six groups, with varying levels of risk; low for groups one, two and three; groups two and three only being classified as low risk under the age of 65. Groups four, five and six were classified as high; group five only having a high risk of suffering a heart attack (over the age of 55). Groups four and six, on the other hand, were the two main groups that the researchers focused on. Both had a high risk of suffering a heart attack (under the age of 40 in group four and between the ages of 40 and 54 in group six) as well as Alzheimer (under the age of 65 in group four and over it, in group six). Indeed, it was these last two groups that showed a common genetic predisposition.

"Until now, we only knew about individual genes linked to both diseases and this was not sufficient to develop an individual test for the risk", explained Licastro. "However, we have now been able to identify a genetic profile of several genes partially common to both diseases. This is the leap in quality that now enables us to conduct a test and assess a profile partially specific to both diseases".

Based on the result of the test, the researchers say that you can, for example, decide whether or not to monitor the situation by regular medical checks and more in-depth medical exams. Furthermore, the link between the two diseases tells us a bit more about their origin. According to Licastro, "the core of the genetic risk profile consists of genes that are involved in synthesizing and transporting cholesterol and in controlling for inflammation, which, therefore, appears to be at the root of both diseases". This means that not only can you conduct tests to identify the diseases, you can also define appropriate life-styles to
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Contact: Luigi Valeri
luigi.valeri@unibo.it
39-335-310-655
Universit of Bologna
Source:Eurekalert

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