Navigation Links
If Parents Had Alzheimer's, Aging May Come Early
Date:2/19/2009

Presence of ApoE4 gene in offspring makes a difference, study finds,,

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-age people whose parents had Alzheimer's and who carry the so-called Alzheimer's gene might very well have the memory of someone 15 years older, a new study has found.

This memory decline was not detected in people of middle age whose parents had Alzheimer's but who do not carry the gene, known as ApoE4, according to the study.

About 20 percent to 25 percent of the population have at least one copy of the ApoE4 gene, but not all people with the gene develop Alzheimer's, said study co-author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, an associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine.

The study involved 715 participants in the ongoing Framingham Heart Study, including 282 whose parents, one or both, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other dementia. The participants averaged 59 years old and were healthy, with no memory complaints, said Seshadri, who is also a senior investigator with the Framingham study.

But when given a battery of cognitive tests, those who logged the lowest scores on verbal and visual memory tasks were people who were carriers of the ApoE4 gene and had parents with dementia.

Seshadri stressed that the neuropsychological tests and brain imaging conducted as part of the study offered a sensitive measurement of memory. The participants were "performing older than they're expected," she said, but added that there were "no memory symptoms associated with this." Participants still tested within the normal range for memory and were living normal lives, she said.

The results suggest that the Alzheimer's gene is facilitating the expression of some other gene, Seshadri said. "It's just giving us a clue that whatever [other] gene we find is going to have an interaction with ApoE," she said.

Finding other genes will require a sample of 10,000 to 20,000 people and the collaboration of several research groups, Seshadri said. But, she predicted that "within the next year or two, I think we are going to find more genes."

The study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and released Wednesday, is to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, from April 25 to May 2, in Seattle.

But the findings should not send people scurrying for genetic testing, Seshadri and another expert said.

Alzheimer's is "not like Huntington's, where if you have the bad gene and you live long enough you're going to get it," Seshadri said. "E4 explains only part of the risk. Clearly there are other genes out there, but they probably have much smaller effects than ApoE4."

Dr. Gary J. Kennedy, director of the division of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that the finding "needs to be seen with considerable caution so it doesn't get over interpreted."

For starters, he said, the study has not been peer-reviewed, meaning it has not been scrutinized and evaluated by other experts in the field, a process that precedes publication of research in a major medical journal.

Also, statistics in the abstract of the study do not indicate how big a risk factor carrying the ApoE4 gene is for those whose parents had dementia or Alzheimer's, Kennedy said, and the brain scans of the study participants did not show any volumetric changes. "If they saw volumetric changes, that would be scary," Kennedy said.

The bottom line then, according to Seshadri, is that 50-somethings who begin to lose their car keys don't need to start worrying as a result of this study.

"Those of us who lose our keys actually have pretty good memories," she said. "We remember we lost our keys." Besides, she said, people lose their keys "mainly because we were thinking of 15 other things when we put our keys down."

More information

The National Institute on Aging has more on Alzheimer's and genetics.



SOURCES: Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor, neurology, and director, Alzheimer's Disease Center, University of California, Davis; Gary J. Kennedy, chief, geriatric psychiatry, and director, department of geriatric psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 18, 2009, American Academy of Neurology, news release


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Video: Ear Infections Spark Online Conversations Among Concerned Parents
2. Parents and Advocates Label Todays Vaccine Court Rulings Insincere and Politically Driven, Says National Autism Association
3. Parents avoid pregnancy rather than face testing choices
4. New factor in teen obesity: Parents
5. Maximum Potential Offers Affordable Training Course for Parents of Children with Autism
6. Video: Most Parents and Caregivers Unaware Their Best Intentions May Be Fostering Tooth Decay in Children
7. Dr. Molly Gunsaulis Offers Parents the Chance to Ensure Their Child's Future Health by Saving Stem Cells from Baby Teeth
8. HeartSaving Solutions Offers Free CPR Course for Parents
9. New Sick Day Guidelines Help Parents Make the Right Call This Cold Season
10. LegalView Informs Parents of Crib Recall Following Several Infant Deaths Caused by Asphyxiation from Improper Crib Mechanisms
11. Parents Not Best Barometer of Kids Eating, Exercise Habits
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
If Parents Had Alzheimer's, Aging May Come Early
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but ... Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90 percent of Americans ... to cook a hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Intalere, ... members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the Paris Hotel in ... elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The conference was highlighted ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, Hope For Heroes and ... military battle for the country. The nonprofit Hope For Heroes partnered with the ... empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well as police, firemen, and EMS professionals ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... There are nearly 14.5 million people living with and beyond ... Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the world will gather to recognize these cancer ... Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life that is held on ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Dr. James Maisel will ... Long Island Chapter on June 4, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm at the Farmingdale Public ... Retina Group of New York , is a Board Certified ophthalmologist who ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25,2016 FDA 510(k) clearance ... platform for urological and surgical applications ... of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) ... the US with the 12 th 510(k) ... (FDA). This new FDA clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25, 2016  Zymo Research Corp. announced ... new reference materials that help researchers obtain the ... to analyses. The rapid growth of the study ... to have standard methods to improve the reproducibility ... inherently exist at every step of the measurement ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Granger Diagnostics today announced ... for wounds and infections. This test ensures discovery ... select viruses. The test requires only a simple swab ... David G. Bostwick , MD, Chief ... facilitate wound healing: "We are excited to make ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: