UCSB Researchers: Gene mutation may delay onset of Alzheimer's by a decade

Sep 1, 2015

A gene variant that could delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease by as much as ten years has been discovered by scientists at UC Santa Barbara. 

Researchers on the UC Santa Barbara campus believe a gene variant found in a part of the genome that controls inflammation could delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease by as much as ten years.
Credit Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

The Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB said the variant appears to prevent levels of a brain protein from increasing with age, which it usually does hand-in-hand with inflammation.

Institute Co-Director Kenneth Kosik said this discovery and others like it could lead to a treatment eventually.

"I think genetics is going to give u—and already has given us—a huge number of clues," said Kosik. "But, the ultimate answer is going to come from how we can leverage the genetic information to use it for developing treatments."

Kosik said we need to take the knowledge from genetics to "the next step" to get the answers we're looking for.

To replicate the team's findings, researchers collaborated with UC San Francisco to study 150 people affected with Alzheimer's or dementia.