For people with a common genetic variation, researchers have discovered signs of the possible onset of Alzheimer’s before a patient would be clinically diagnosed by a doctor.
In people with the ApoE4 gene variation, one previously implicated as affecting the likelihood of Alzheimer’s, researchers have been able to pinpoint some signs of memory loss beginning in the person’s mid- to late-50s — without the patient having full-blown Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
“[One could argue] we really captured for the first time the onset of Alzheimer’s disease,” explained Dr. Richard Caselli, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“What’s passing as normal aging itself correlates with the most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” he said, adding that the symptoms are noticeable in a clinical setting, but not in everyday life.
“It’s not the sort of thing that you can look at somebody or they can look at themselves and know.”
Researchers caution that when in interpreting the findings, one should keep in mind that people who had shown some memory loss were still functioning normally and having the gene did not impair anyone at an earlier age.
Read more here: ABC News