Genetic risk of Alzheimer's disease and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in children
What is it about?
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Many genetic factors, including APOE variant, has been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Common risk factors for heart diseases, such as insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and unhealthy levels of blood lipids, increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we showed that these two risk factors, genetic susceptibility for Alzheimer's disease and heart disease risk factors, were linked in young girls. Our resuls further showed that these associations were magnified in obese girls. No associations were observed in boys.
Why is it important?
The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is increasing with aging populations all over the world and the prevention of Alzheimer's disease has been suggested to begin as early as possible. Our results provide the first evidence that common risk factors of an old age disease are related already in childhood. Our results also suggest that the long term prevention of Alzheimer's disease should be started already in childhood. These results must be still intepreted cautiously as longer follow-up period is needed to investigate whether these factors are also related to cognition and brain health later in life.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Eero Haapala
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