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

prevent heart and circulation problems and Alzheimer.

However, the researchers understand that technical ingredient that brought about the success of the test is likely to be controversial. Indeed, to study the DNA of their patients, they had to resort to an innovative statistical technique called grade of membership analysis. Although this approach is already applied to the study of other problems, from melanomas to schizophrenia, it is still being debated within the international scientific community. "However, it is only by using such statistical analyses", says Licastro, "that such diseases can be tested, conducting tests on only a few hundred cases. Classical statistics would require us to test 10, 12 or even 20 or 30 thousand cases".

In short, the debate is still open. Professor Federico Licastro and his group, which includes the very young Elisa Porcellini and Ilaria Carbone, will continue looking into the question in more depth, hoping to find new genetic links between the two diseases. Critics may contest the statistical results or even put forward counter tests based on classical statistics. For now, however, what everyone seems to agree on is that a healthy life-style that helps keep cholesterol and hypertension under control is not only beneficial to the heart but also to the brain.


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Contact: Luigi Valeri
luigi.valeri@unibo.it
39-335-310-655
Universit of Bologna
Source:Eurekalert

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