Bioscience

2 studies take aim at early treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

June 13, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: The Arizona Republic] – An Arizona research group has established an ambitious target: to treat Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear.

The Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative, orchestrated by the scientists from Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, is pursuing that goal with the launch of two large studies that organizers say could spur a new era of Alzheimer’s research.

One study will focus on as many as 5,000 people from about two dozen extended families in Colombia. An estimated 40 percent carry a genetic mutation linked to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, with some individuals developing the memory-robbing disease in their 40s.

The second part of the study will include a heavy Arizona focus, recruiting as many as 400 volunteers between the ages of 60 and 80 from the Phoenix area and elsewhere who carry two copies of an Alzheimer’s susceptibility gene called APOE4. A person with two copies of the aberrant gene has a higher risk of developing the disease.

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