Montreal researchers make Alzheimer’s breakthrough

English: Diagram of how microtubules desintegrate with Alzheimer's disease Français : La protéine Tau dans un neurone sain et dans un neurone malade Español: Esquema que muestra cómo se desintegran los microtúbulos en la enfermedad de Alzheimer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Diagram of how microtubules desintegrate with Alzheimer's disease Français : La protéine Tau dans un neurone sain et dans un neurone malade Español: Esquema que muestra cómo se desintegran los microtúbulos en la enfermedad de Alzheimer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Montreal team of researchers has found a genetic variant that protects against and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study revealed that certain natural and frequent genetic variants could postpone Alzheimer’s disease by up to four years. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia that causes memory loss and deterioration of thinking skills before eventually leading to death.

The team from the Douglas Mental Health Institute and McGill University is led by Dr. Jules Poirier, who is a pioneer in the field of Alzheimer’s research.

“We found that specific genetic variants in a gene called HMG CoA reductase, which normally regulates cholesterol production and mobilization in the brain, can interfere with, and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by nearly four years,” Poirier said in a statement. “This is an exciting breakthrough in a field where successes have been scarce these past few years.”

For Diane Roch, the director general of the Quebec Federation of Alzheimer societies, the news is a step forward for research and finding a cure to the devastating disease. The organization provides support to individuals afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

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