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Newest genetic test can predict Alzheimer’s risk at very young ages

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New research into the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease has taken a key step toward earlier detection of the disease.

In a recent study, researchers have found that those who carried many of the telltale gene variations had a smaller hippocampus than did their peers with few of the genetic variations. While statistically significant, the association was somewhat weak. However, it was clearly detectable in cognitively healthy study participants who were still very young.

The genetic test used in the latest study is unlikely at any point soon to be a useful predictor of who will develop Alzheimer’s and who won’t, said experts. For now, its principal use may be to identify people who are at unusually high risk of developing symptoms of dementia as they age.

Still, the latest effort at early detection is “an important first attempt,” said Johns Hopkins University’s Dr. Dimitrios Avramopoulos. As genome-wide association studies become larger, and researchers’ gain confidence in identifying the true risk variants for Alzheimer’s Disease, “prediction will improve.”

Read full, original post: Researchers develop genetic test that can predict your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

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