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Molecular Signatures in Post-Mortem Brain Tissue of Younger Individuals at High Risk for Alzheimer's Disease
Date:6/2/2010

While the majority of Alzheimer’s researchers focus their attention on the classic pathological signs of the mind-robbing disease – the plaques and tangles --- scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have new evidence that there are molecular hints of trouble in the brains of people decades before these signs lay claim in the brain.

Manhasset, NY (Vocus) May 24, 2010 -- While the majority of Alzheimer’s researchers focus their attention on the classic pathological signs of the mind-robbing disease – the plaques and tangles --- scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have new evidence that there are molecular hints of trouble in the brains of people decades before these signs lay claim in the brain.

Concepcion Conejero-Goldberg, MD, PhD, and her colleagues have an interest in prevention and thus headed back in time to younger adults who carry a risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease called APOE4. They were hoping to find molecular differences in the brains of people with one or two copies of the APOE4 gene and those who do not carry a copy of the risk gene. Having one copy increases the odds of developing Alzheimer’s three to four times more than people without the genetic variant. They were able to obtain brain tissue from young to middle age adults who died from a variety of causes. They choose tissue from two different brain areas, one that is hard hit by Alzheimer’s (middle temporal gyrus) and one that is not (primary somatosensory cortex). Then they sampled brain tissue from the cerebellum to find out whether the person had been born with an APOE4 gene or not. They had tissue from 41 people who had died on average around 42 years old and no one in the bunch had any pathological signs of Alzheimer’s – at least no plaques and tangles.
   
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