According to a recent study, women may be more likely than males to get Alzheimer’s disease due to a gene that only exists in them. Alzheimer’s is a neurological condition that seriously impairs mental abilities to the point that a person is unable to complete even the most basic tasks. Alzheimer’s disease typically manifests its symptoms beyond the age of 60. A gene termed MGMT, or O6-Methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase, was found by researchers at the Universities of Chicago and Boston, and it may be the cause of the higher proportion of female Alzheimer’s sufferers. The study has also offered potential strategies for slowing or halting the disease’s course.
Based on a genome-wide association study for Alzheimer’s disease that used two different datasets and methodologies, the conclusions were reached. The first strategy concentrated on a large Hutterite family, a pioneer group with European ancestry who, according to academics, are frequently employed in studies due to their limited gene pool and segregated culture. The sample in this dataset consisted of Alzheimer’s-affected women.
The second method involved the analysis of genetic information from a general sample of 10,340 women who did not possess the genetic mutation known to enhance the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, known as APOE 4. According to the data, this genetic variation is carried by 60% of Alzheimer’s patients of European descent compared to 26% of the general population.
According to Lindsay Farrer, director of biomedical genetics at BUSM and a senior author of the paper, “This finding is particularly robust because it was independently detected in two diverse groups using different methodologies.”
The research was conducted in response to a recent survey conducted by the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at the Cleveland Clinic, which found that 82% of women were ignorant of their increased risk for Alzheimer’s. The study also revealed that women have a 1 in 5 lifetime risk of having Alzheimer’s disease by the age of 65.
The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease is also significantly influenced by factors such untreated depression, smoking, prior traumatic brain injury, and cardiovascular disease.