Make your home page

Health Spotlight: Alzheimer’s: One may be the Key

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss is often the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease, but decades before people begin to fade away, their brain starts to show signs of changes.

Breakthrough research looks at how one gene may be the key to early diagnosis.

Researchers believe the APOE (a-poe-eee) gene is important in laying down myelin, which is a protein that insulates neurons in the brain.

Researchers want to know what it is about this gene that’s leading to an elevated risk.

The research shows that there is a difference between men and women when it comes to how the APOE (a-poe-eee) gene impacts them. For men, an APOE3 (a-poe-eee-three) gene and APOE4 (a-poe-eee-four) gene didn’t have a huge effect on their symptoms, while in women, it did. That may be the reason researchers believe men seem to show signs sooner, and although women’s symptoms may appear later, the symptoms seem to strike stronger and women decline faster.

This article is from a script aired on WISH-TV.