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From Apo to Amyloids

Study Shows ApoE Variants Affect the Speed of Alzheimer’s

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, November 22, 2013
Variants in the ApoE gene are the strongest genetic risk factor there is for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Inheriting the E2 allele decreases the number of plaques, while inheriting the E4 allele increases the number of plaques and raises the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – for those unlucky individuals who have two copies, that risk jumps by 12-fold. E4 carriers also start developing the disease decades earlier than those with E2 alleles. So far, so good. “That observation . . . is 20 years old,” Massachusetts’ General Hospital’s Bradley Hyman told BioWorld Today.

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