The researchers say the work suggests that in different Alzheimer's disease patients, different mechanisms are at work that determine whether or not a given therapy will be effective.
While a previous study by the researchers studied the function of the gene in tissue culture, this is the first time that drug effect based on a patients' genotype has been clinically shown.
UB - Researchers - Study - Limitations - Blind
The UB researchers caution that the study has its limitations and randomized double blind studies are needed to confirm the results.
The research was presented today at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) in Los Angeles. It was conducted on data from a ten-year, longitudinal, multicenter cohort study by the Texas Alzheimer Research and Care Consortium (TARCC) on 345 Alzheimer's patients. The UB researchers are collaborators on the TARCC.
Research - Proof - Concept - Mechanisms - Work
"This research provides proof of concept that since different mechanisms are at work in Alzheimer's in different patients, we need to develop more personalized treatments that will prove more effective in individuals," said Kinga Szigeti, MD, PhD, lead investigator, director of UB's Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center, part of UBMD Neurology, and associate professor of neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.
The gene, CHRFAM7A, is a fusion between a gene that codes for an Alpha 7 receptor for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning and long associated with Alzheimer's, and a kinase, a type of enzyme.
Szigeti - Gene - Flavors - Gene - Protein
Szigeti explained that the gene is present in two flavors, a functional gene and one that is not made into protein, data the UB team also is presenting this week at AAIC.
"This splits the population 1-to-3 between non-carriers and carriers," said Szigeti. CHRFAM7A has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disease.
Szigeti - Drugs - Alzheimer - Work
Szigeti explained that three of the four drugs now available for Alzheimer's work by stimulating...
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