Australian scientists at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne and researchers at Stanford University in California have identified a link between Alzheimer’s disease and a gene (ApoE4) that is carried by one in five people.
This gene is believed to increase the rate of amyloid in the human body, the toxic protein thought to be responsible for Alzheimer’s.
“Those with the gene are more likely to start declining mentally up to 13 years before those who don’t carry the variation,” said Dr Yen Ying Lim from Florey Institute.
To further understand the gene and the role it plays in dementia, researchers will go beyond the American study and recruit 5000 Australians aged 40 to 65 to track the changes in memory and thinking function over five years.
Meanwhile, a Danish study released yesterday has found that higher levels of lithium in drinking water may lower the risk of developing dementia.
If available, would you get tested for this gene to understand your dementia risks? Should more government resources be put into understanding and fighting this disease?