Alzheimer’s is one disease that has torn up millions of families the world over. While there has yet to be a cure to be found against this degenerative disease, it seems like there’s a light being shone on this dark tunnel, thanks to recent scientific findings.
According to the latest research conducted by a team of scientists from Iceland, headed by Kári Stefánsson, deCODE Genetics chief executive, and published recently in the Nature journal, there exists a genetic mutation that can help prevent the disease from affecting people.
The study centralized on the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP), which has been commondly associated with the disease. There has been much contest about what APP really does for Alzheimer’s – is it a stimulant of the disease, or is it a mere offshoot of it? What is certain is that APP is responsible for the plaque build-up in the brain, that is a telltale sign of Alzheimer’s.
The APP Study
For the study, the scientists rounded up 1,800 elderly patients, comparing their complete genome sequences. Here, they found that a mutation in a gene producing APP tends to slow down the formation of the intrusive plaque formation by as much as 40%. Furthermore, those who do have this mutation are more likely to avoid contracting Alzheimer’s up to their 85 years of age. Other age-related effects, such as a decline in cognitive skills, were also seen to be less prominent.
Despite the celebratory mood, however, this genetic mutation, it seems, is a very rare one, being only present in just 1 of every 100,000 people. Nonetheless, while there still is a long way to go in the development of a cure that will directly target Alzheimer’s, this study is considered to be a breakthrough of sorts, a huge boost for the scientists aiming to develop a more compact method to combat the cognitive disease. In the meantime, it would be ideal if you set up a consultation with your doctor, so that you could be properly guided as to how you can avoid Alzheimer’s.
The official website of Beltz Medical can help you with that purpose, so do check it out.