A genetic variant previously linked to a dramatic increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease may protect against age- and disease-related cognitive decline, a study published in. has been published Aging in nature this week (October 7th) takes place.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a protein that is involved in fat processing. A variant of this gene called APOE 4 is the highest and most common known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. People with a single copy of the variant are three times more likely to develop the neurological disease in old age than people without copies, science reported. However, a 2020 study that included more than 1,000 people aged 20 to 80 found carriers of APOE 4 Variant performed better in short-term memory tests. The new results build on those findings, says Nahid Zokaei, Oxford University psychologist and lead author of the 2020 study science, adding that the combined observations could be important in understanding the mechanism of Alzheimer’s development and the general functioning of our brains.
For the new study, University College London neuroscientist Jonathan Schott and his colleagues tested visual working memory in a sample of around 400 elderly patients between the ages of 69 and 71 who had not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Participants, all of whom were born in the UK the same week in 1946 and who volunteered for the lifelong Insight 46 study, were challenged with object identification and location reminder tests. Similar to the 2020 newspaper, the test subjects wore the APOE 4 Allele did better; They positioned objects 7 percent closer to their actual location in recall tests and made 14 percent fewer errors in object identification tests.
The researchers also used imaging tests to study the presence of amyloid proteins in the participants’ brains. Amyloid builds up in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease and is believed to play a role in its main symptoms, including memory loss. The researchers found that carriers of APOE 4 with some amyloid build-ups, there was still better memory of objects than non-carriers, suggesting that the variant may be protective in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. “It is noticeable that the cognitive advantage [from APOE ε4] is even observed in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease, ”says neuropsychologist Duke Han from the University of Southern California, who was not involved in the study science.
The results suggest that “something about owning a [APOE ε4] Allele. . . has some positive effects on your cognitive function, “says Schott Science. He also states in a press release that how APOE 4 increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease remains a mystery. “Understand why [APOE ε4] could lead to better memory, it could also help us understand why it also leads to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, ”he says.
Susan Kohlhaas, Principal Investigator at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the study’s main funder, added, “This new research underscores that there is still much to be known about these genes, their role in Alzheimer’s disease and their fascinating implications.” can go beyond the disease. “