Gene linked to Alzheimer’s may cause developmental disorders in children

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The gene that makes some people more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease as adults also affects the brain development and mental abilities of children, a new study shows.

The findings…suggest that Alzheimer’s may be much more than a disease related to the brain’s inability to clear beta amyloid plaques. Instead, it may be useful to think of it as a developmental disorder.

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The APOE gene tells cells how to make a protein called apolipoprotein E…The gene comes in three varieties, known as the e2, e3 and e4 variants…People with one — and especially two — e4 variants are significantly more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people without e4.

The results “support the provocative idea that AD (Alzheimer’s disease) is, in part, a developmental disorder,” wrote brain researchers Rebecca Knickmeyer…and Dr. M. Elizabeth Ross[.]

If so, they wrote, it may be possible to develop treatments for children with high-risk DNA variants that would — decades later — delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, reduce its severity or prevent it altogether.

Read full, original post: Brain changes wrought by gene linked to Alzheimer’s may begin in childhood, scientists say

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