Thursday, October 26, 2023

A Decreased Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in Your Genes?

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and The DR4 Gene

    A recent Stanford led medical study about Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease has revealed that people with a mutation of the DR4 gene have a decreased risk of PD and Alzheimer's. About 1 in 5 people carry the mutation of the DR4 gene, which was discovered to reduce the chance of developing PD or Alzheimer's by 10%. Researchers also believe the tau proteins involved in Alzheimer's may also be involved with PD, hence the close relatedness of decreased risks that we see in this article and the gathered genomic-based conclusions. Other studies have shown that the DR4 mutation protects against PD, and combining the new research, it is believed that it may pose the same effect in preventing Alzheimer's. The data suggested that in people with DR4, there were fewer neurofibrillary tangles, which as associated with the tau proteins that aggressively effect the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease as it progresses, creating the plaque that impairs cognition.  There are immunological connections with DR4 as well, and they are promising enough to possibly initiate the creation of a vaccine that can attack and destroy the fibers that create the tau proteins coating the brain.

    With a significant increase in patients with both PD and Alzheimer's, this idea of a vaccine could be very promising and useful in the near future. Also, the fact that the scientists at Stanford were able to discover and pinpoint the exact gene is also very exciting as well. As we continue to make these advances in science and medicine, many things are looking up in our future and the future of middle aged individuals that will soon be susceptible to deteriorating and life altering diseases and conditions. Overall, this article was exciting to read because of how relevant this is to the conditions we are facing in the medical field, and have been, over the past two decades. With this in mind, what these scientists and Stanford University are doing is amazing, and I am ecstatic to be in the field of biology at this time in our world!




1 comment:

  1. I find this study super useful. Many people are suffering from PD and Alzheimer's with no answers. I am curious to know how easy it is to find out if you have a mutation of the DR4 gene.