Author: John Anderer
Combination of two brain diagrams in one for comparison.
In the left a normal brain, in the right, a brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Alzheimer’s disease is an awful form of dementia that impairs memory, thinking, and everyday functioning in elderly adults. Now, a new study shows a specific gene linked to the condition may begin affecting cognitive functioning much earlier in life, even before adulthood.
It’s already been well established that people who carry this protein creating gene, known as APOE4 allele, are up to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. The gene is found in 15% of the population. According to researchers at the University of California, Riverside, individuals carrying the gene scored lower on IQ tests during childhood and adolescence compared to people without it. This negative impact on IQ seemed to be more prevalent in girls than boys.
For the study, the research team compiled and analyzed data from two previous studies consisting of 1,321 participants between the ages of 6 and 18. The gender ratio among participants was almost completely even, and each subject took three IQ tests between childhood and adolescence.
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