In separate studies, two teams of researchers have found a mutation in a gene linked with inflammation that is tied to the most common form of Alzheimer’s. According to one scientist, those individuals who had the mutation had a four-fold increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia that leads to memory loss and diminished cognitive skills.
First New Genetic Discovery in a Decade
Scientists have been aggressively looking for the genetic keys to Alzheimer’s for years. The new mutation, known as TREM2, is rarer than the best-known genetic link to date, ApoE4, which is found in about 40% of late-onset Alzheimer’s patients. The TREM2 appears in less than 4% of those patients.
The Significance of TREM2
The TREM2 gene regulates the protein in tissue cells that “clean up garbage,” according to Dr. Kari Stefansson, a researcher with decode Genetics, a private company out of Reykjavik. When these genes mutate, it changes the ways in which excess toxic proteins from beta amyloid are processed. Beta amyloid is an amino acid in the brain that scientist have long associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Scientists believe that beta amyloids collect a “plaque,” which interferes with normal brain function.
The initial study of TREM2 was conducted using test subjects exclusively from Iceland. To confirm that the findings were not unique to Icelanders, similar studies were conducted in the United State, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. All the studies came to essentially the same conclusion.
Researchers caution, however, that they are still in the very early stages of identifying the causes of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Stefansson acknowledges that Alzheimer’s is “ a complex disease.” Scientists expect to find other genes related to Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Care from Star Multi Care
Star Multicare offers a wide range of in-home health care services to Alzheimer’s sufferers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. We also work with individuals in assisted living or other residential care facilities. For more information about the ways we can help you and your loved ones, contact us online or call our office toll free number:(877) 920--0600
Home Health Care—Legal Concerns
When you need home health care, it’s important to make certain your legal rights and interests are protected. Attorney Bonnie Lawston, in Huntington Station, has worked with seniors and their families for more than 15 years, addressing all matters related to home health care services. She advises clients and providers in New York and out of state.