Alzheimer’s disease targeted with gene therapy trial

| | March 12, 2019

There’s a test for Alzheimer’s risk that genetic counselors don’t like to talk about.

It’s not that they’re hiding the information—rather, it’s because Alzheimer’s has no cure.

The test is for APOE, a gene that’s involved in shuttling fatty molecules in our blood. Scientists can’t yet comprehensively explain why exactly that gene is linked to Alzheimer’s, but we know that it comes in three forms: APOE4 massively increases the chance of getting the brain-destroying disorder, and APOE3 is neutral.

But APOE2? That’s the holy grail—it’s a protective form of the gene.

APOE2 is the winning genetic lottery when it comes to Alzheimer’s.

Related article:  Alzheimer’s vaccine shows promise in early stages

And now, for the first time, a team from New York City wants to spread the winnings to people who are already showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s.

In a pioneering first, Dr. Ronald Crystal at the Weill Cornell Medicine is planning to use a virus to deliver the protective APOE variant into those experiencing dementia. By flooding their brains with APOE2, the hope is that the superhero variant can drown out negative influences of APOE4—and eventually, protect an at-risk brain before symptoms ever develop.

Read full, original post: The Gene Therapy Trial Aiming to Fend Off Alzheimer’s

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