Jan 13, 2009

Gene Variant May Hike Women's Risk of Alzheimer's

Scientists have discovered a gene variant on the X chromosome that appears to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientists uncovered a strong association between a mutation on the PCDH11X gene and Alzheimer's disease.

For the study, Dr. Steven Younkin and his colleagues scanned hundreds of thousands of genes in 844 people with Alzheimer's disease and 1,255 healthy people who served as "controls."

Women with two copies of the gene had a 75 percent increased risk for Alzheimer's. Women with only one copy of the gene had a 26 percent increased risk, while men with one copy had an 18 percent increased risk.

"To me, the fact that it's X-linked is intriguing because of the fact that there are more women than men with Alzheimer's disease," he said.

Gene Variant May Hike Women's Risk of Alzheimer's

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,300 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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