Newly identified mechanism may explain Women’s Alzheimer’s risk
According to the CDC, women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but doctors and scientists aren’t sure why Women’s Alzheimer’s risk is greater.
The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s affects nearly 6 million people in North America. With the population aging, this number is expected to grow and could even reach as high as 14 million people in 30 years from now in just the United States.
Discovering why and how the disease occurs – especially in women who are more at risk – is essential for early intervention and developing new therapeutics. Researchers have tried to understand why Alzheimer’s, but not other forms of dementia, is more prevalent in females and have hypothesized that menopause, longer life expectancy, and the immune system are all factors.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland now believe they have found some genetic variants on the X chromosome that may be linked to Women’s Alzheimer’s risk.
Medical News Today had a detailed article on this study if you want to read more, but – in essence – researchers found that some genes on the X chromosome do not ‘shut off’ as they should, which can be a contributing factor in women developing the disease.
All human females have a pair of X chromosomes. Early during embryo development one of the X chromosomes will be inactivated, and all cells in the female human body have just one X chromosome that is transcriptionally active. [Researchers have] proposed that one of the genes that escape X chromosome inactivation could contribute to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in females. It appears in CellTrusted Source.
Getting Closer to Understanding Women’s Alzheimer’s Risk
These novel findings are helping researchers target new genes for additional studies.
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