Treating Alzheimer's Disease -- Research Discovers Rare Gene Mutation
It’s estimated that over five million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death among adults in America. There is good news for the treatment of Alzheimer’s with the discovery out of Iceland about a mutation to the gene that is believed to cause the disease. Dr. Marc Siegel explained on Sunday Housecall that once the protein called beta-amyloid builds up in the brain, it’s too late to help patients. The enzyme called amyloid precursor protein (APP) is what causes the amyloid to form.
The study of over 1,000 people recently discovered that if people have a mutation
to that protein, then they don’t make the amyloid and as a result have over seven-times less of a chance of developing Alzheimer’s. What does this mean for th treatment of this devastating disease? Dr. Siegel said, “We’re looking at now how you block the gene; how you get the same thing as in this rare segment of the population.”