Genetic Variant DR4 Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: Study

The Study Reveals Genetic Variant that Protects Against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

The study shows that one in five people carry a genetic variant that appears to protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Reduced Chances of Developing the Disease

An analysis of medical and genetic data from hundreds of thousands of people has shown that having this variant, called DR4, reduces people’s chances of developing a particular disease by more than 10% on average.

Experts say this discovery could one day lead to a vaccine that could slow or stop the progression of these two common diseases.

International Team’s Research

An international team led by Stanford University in California pooled databases from several countries to compare the incidence and age of onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease among people with this variant.

They found that people with the gene were generally less likely to develop the disease, and that, if diagnosed, at a later age than people without the gene.

“In a previous study, we found that the presence of the DR4 allele protects against Parkinson’s disease,” said lead researcher Emmanuel Meno. “Now we have found a similar effect of DR4 on Alzheimer’s disease. Action against Alzheimer’s disease.”

Brain Data Analysis

Researchers analyzed brain data from more than 7,000 Alzheimer’s patients after their autopsies and found that DR4 carriers had fewer tau tangles as well as later onset of symptoms compared to those without the genetic variant.

They said their results suggest that tau, a key player in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, may also play a role in Parkinson’s disease.

Possible Vaccine Development

The team said it might someday be possible to develop a vaccine that would make DR4 “work harder” to delay or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and possibly Parkinson’s disease.

However, this will only benefit one in five people who carry the genetic variant.

Publication and Source

Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Daily Mail

Kayne Davenport
Kayne Davenport has been a journalist for over 15 years, making him an expert in his field. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Journalism from UT Austin and a Master of Science in Investigative Journalism from Northwestern. Kayne's career spans multiple media outlets. He has been writing for WS News Publishers for the past year, covering finance, politics, and education stories.

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