Alzheimer’s gene linked to childhood IQ

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Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit American voluntary health organization, estimated that about 5.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Around $259 billion is spent by healthcare system each year to treat this disease. Furthermore, World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 70% of worldwide dementia cases.

Linkage of amyloid beta peptides to intelligence in children
The National Institute on Aging signifies various causes of Alzheimer’s disease, including a few genetic factors. One important feature of Alzheimer’s is production of amyloid beta peptides (APP) by mutation of the gene that encodes amyloid precursor protein. This amyloid beta causes clusters, which build up senile plaques in the brain. A new study by Dr. Tetyana Zayats and other researchers from the K.G. Jebsen Centre for Neuropsychiatric Disorders in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Bergen in Norway has found links between the development of cognitive functions in children and amyloid beta peptides.

Dr. Zayats shared that understanding of synaptic functioning could be expanded by studying human genetics as it may be the reason behind the stability of cognitive functioning. She found that an APP-encoding gene variation was associated with Alzheimer’s diagnosis in the adult cohort and is linked to fluid intelligence in children. Researchers are trying to gain more comprehension into the significance of these genes in the development of intelligence quotient (IQ) in children. Furthermore, Dr. Zayats said that this study has potential implications for the understanding of normal function of these synaptic proteins and their involvement in the disease.

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