Late-onset genes for Alzheimer's disease

Professor Donna Wilcock discusses the late-onset gene for Alzheimer's disease, ApoE4, which increases the risk of developing the disease.

There is one, right now, genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease that’s called ApoE. ApoE is a complicated molecule that seems to be involved in cholesterol transport, but it probably has many other functions as well as cholesterol transport. Everybody in the general population has two copies of the ApoE gene, and you can be ApoE2, ApoE3, or ApoE4. You have two copies – you get one copy from your mom and one copy from you dad. You can be an ApoE2/ApoE3, or you can two ApoE3s, or you can have ApoE3/ApoE4. If you carry one ApoE4 gene, you have a slightly increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you have two copies of the ApoE4 gene, you have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first susceptibility gene that we’ve found for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease but it is not a definite gene. You can have ApoE4/ApoE4 and not go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease. But you are at a much higher risk of to have Alzheimer’s disease than let’s say an ApoE3/ApoE3 is.

alzheimer, late, onset, gene, susceptibility, apoe, apoe4, cholesterol, donna, wilcock

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