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A team of researchers from Duke University has found a new gene TOMM40 that along with a previously discovered gene APOE may  help diagnose Alzheimer's disease.  

A gene that may offer a highly accurate prediction of the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and the age at which people will begin to show symptoms has been identified by U.S. researchers.

While it may be too late to help those of us who  witness just how devastating Alzheimer's disease is to the human spirit...I do hope that this discovery can aid in diagnosing and possibly lead to a cure or treatment.

I try not to get too excited about all the health breakthroughs that we read about or hear daily... But I hope and pray for a better future for families that suffer with Alzheimer's and if this brings us one step closer to diagnosis, treatment and a cure in the future. Well I can hope can't I?

Alzheimer’s Gene Discovery May Help Predict Age Disease Hits

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- A newly discovered gene variant may help determine who is going to get Alzheimer’s disease, and at what age the symptoms of the fatal condition that destroys the mind will start to develop.

The breakthrough comes from Allen Roses, director of the Deane Drug Discovery Institute at Duke University Medical Center, who uncovered the variants in the APOE gene that predispose carriers to Alzheimer’s disease. The new finding refines the earlier work and may be the most accurate way to predict the development and course of the disease, Roses said.

About half of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease are caused by the APOE gene. Adding the new genetic variation, dubbed Tomm40, may help identify up to 85 percent of inherited cases of Alzheimer’s disease and pinpoint when symptoms will start, Roses said in a telephone interview.

The study was scheduled to be presented July 12 at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, held in Vienna, Austria.

Alzheimer's is a stealth steals from us. Right in our midst, everyday as we go about our first it may just look like signs of senility...a little old age forgetfulness, and then....lost memories, names, recognition and absence. Safety concerns, taking the car keys, removing all hazards, full time care givers and an attempt at some kind of routine to make the person feel safe.

I hate Alzheimer's...when it strikes you cannot laugh, joke, share or even make amends with the person you love anymore.  Alzheimer's patients look just like the person you love...but sadly that person does not exist anymore ... if they even remember you...or they repeat the same thought over and over as if they don't want to let go either...  We love and care for them...because they deserve that care and compassion from us.  We love and care for them because they can no longer do it for themselves.  We cry....

I just wanted to share this info because I thought others might be interested.  Please do not ask me any medical questions...I am not capable or qualified. Hopefully there will be more information available when the study is published. Living with Alzheimer's...sadly, that I do  know about and I have compassion for those who tend to any one who has any type of health issue...pain and suffering knows no bounds or limits.

"This is potentially a very exciting discovery," said Dr. Daniel Kaufer, a neurologist and director of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s Memory and Cognitive Disorders Program. "There has been a big black hole in our knowledge of later onset Alzheimer’s. But the real clinical value remains to be seen down the road."

Kaufer and others noted that a gene discovery doesn’t necessarily result in new treatments.News&Observer

"It now looks fairly clear that there are two major genes -- APOE4 and TOMM40 -- and together they account for an estimated 85 to 90 percent of the genetic effect," Roses said.

The Duke team is planning a five-year study of APOE genotypes and TOMM40, along with a drug trial to assess prevention or delay of Alzheimer's disease onset.AJC

Alzheimers National Institute of Health

Originally posted to fedupcitizen on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 06:42 PM PDT.

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