Researchers Hone in on Clues in Quest to Prevent Dementia

( – According to a December 11 report in The Sun, a new study by Washington University revealed that a woman who avoided Alzheimer’s, even when most of her relatives got it, could hold clues on how to prevent the disease. The British tabloid said that the woman is from Colombia, and pointed out that the memory-robbing condition affected many of her family members when they were in their 40s. It added that US researchers have discovered why the woman remained healthy and fit in her late 70s.

The study’s senior author Dr David Holtzman said that the woman had two different copies of the APOE gene, which is popularly known as the Christchurch mutation. The health expert explained that these copies could have been the reason why the disease didn’t progress in her case, and pointed out that her “protective factor” can provide numerous clues about how Alzheimer’s works.

Holtzman also pointed out that if the health community is able to mimic the effect of Christchurch, the world could be about to experience one of the greatest scientific revolutions. He said that doctors could be able to stop those who are on the road to Alzheimer’s dementia from fully developing the condition.

The memory-robbing condition is thought to be caused by build-ups of proteins in the human brain, which include amyloid and tau. While there isn’t an official cure for Alzheimer’s, three promising medicines to slow down its fast progress are currently in trials.

In the study, which was published on Cell, Holtzman said that his team could be able to answer one of the greatest unanswered questions about Alzheimer’s, which is why the accumulation of amyloids leads to tau pathology. He explained that the Colombian woman was an extremely unusual case because she had amyloid pathology but only had mild cognitive symptoms of the tau pathology. Holtzman added that he and his team believe that the woman could hold clues to the link between “amyloid and tau.”

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