Contrary to what we’ve all thought to be true, a new study suggests that Alzheimer’s may be a disorder that unfolds over many decades, beginning with childhood.
The brain changes were detected in people with a specific gene that is tied to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s in old age. Researchers found that those who carried the Alzheimer’s gene tended to have a smaller hippocampus, an area of the brain critical for memory.
Studying these genes in young children may ultimately give us early indications of who may be at risk for dementia in the future, and possibly even help us develop ways to prevent the disease from occurring or to delay the start of the disease. This finding is significant and demonstrates the need for continued research to understand the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s and for effective treatments to stop the progression.
Learn more about this study in this month’s expert-reviewed articles.
Your ALZinfo Team