Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Jeans? Nope. New Genes.

Alzheimer's disease scares us all, there's no doubt about it.  In a genetic analysis of more than 50,000 people, researchers have found five new genes that may increase the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease.  Previously at 5, the total number of known risk genes associated with the disease is now at 10.  The recently found genes are associated with the disorder's most common form, which affects almost 50% of people over the age of 80.

Scientists are "excited", according to, because the newly found genes involve things that have been suspected of playing a role in Alzheimer's for a long time but have never been confirmed.  Such things are:  "high cholesterol, inflammation and the way cells ferry molecules around."

On a... less bright (for lack of a better word) note, the new genes together may only account for about 35% of late-onset Alzheimer's.  However, on a brighter note, these genes could provide "fresh targets" for better drugs.  As of now, the current medications can only alleviate the main symptom, memory loss.  According to scientists, it's a long way from finding a cure, but they're hoping it's a step in the right direction. 

I agree.  Whole-heartedly.  Although I have never been in contact with someone with Alzheimer's, I've watched enough TV to know what it's all about, and it's no walk in the park.  Reading this article definitely boosted my mood; it's always good to hear news like this.

Until next time.

P.S.- Told ya I'd give you more "latest and greatest" scientific findings.

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