Scientists in San Francisco may be close to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The key to their success was looking not at the brains of mice – a standard practice in scientific research – but of men.
Researchers at Gladstone Institutes, an independent biomedical research institution in San Francisco, have discovered the cause of the primary genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and they may have found a solution to erase its damaging effects.
Their findings, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Medicine, are especially important because they conducted tests not on the brains of mice, but that of humans.
The scientists found human brains that possess even one copy of a gene, called apoE4, are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetimes. Having two copies increases the risk twelvefold.