New Study: 1 In 6 Alzheimer’s Cases Inherited

May 7, 2024

The point is, we need to start doing precision medicine and breaking it down. Start with genetics.

Director of the memory and Alzheimer’s treatment center at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Constantine Lyketsos, commenting on a new study which suggests 1 in 6 Alzheimer’s cases could be inherited – more than what is currently understood.

Why It Matters: Most Alzheimer’s cases do not have a known cause, though the disease impacts nearly 7 million Americans. The new study focuses on a gene variant known as APOE4 – a gene known to elevate the risk of people developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers analyzed data from more than 500 people with two copies of the gene (one from each parent), discovering that having two copies of APOE4 could be a significant underlying cause and not just a risk factor. They also discovered many patients with both copies of the gene variant developed symptoms by age 65, younger than those who do not have the gene variant.

The new research has the potential to help many people receive an earlier diagnoses even before they begin showing symptoms, if they chose. It also helps set the stage for further trials and research regarding treatment for people who have two copies of APOE4.

Read More: Study Suggests Genetics as a Cause, Not Just a Risk, for Some Alzheimer’s (The New York Times)

Genes known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s may actually be an inherited form of the disorder, researchers say (CNN)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas