Scientists Block Alzheimer's Gene in the Lab

Scientists have claimed an important breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer's. They've neutralized the most significant gene responsible for the disease.

It's a medical success in a Petri dish with interesting long-term possibilities.

A team in California has pinpointed a protein associated with the high-risk gene -- and used the latest stem-cell technology to block it from damaging cells.

KTRH Medical Expert Dr. Joe Galati says the next step is human trials.

He cautions that, so far, it’s significant, but only the first step.

The study could lead to a possible new drug or vaccine capable of halting Alzheimer's ... but Galati and the researchers caution that's still only been done on collections of cells in a lab.

Only from successful human trials, he says, can a possible drug be created to arrest the damage wrought by Alzheimer’s … because the cure for this debilitating disease continues to elude us.

The California researchers successfully identified the protein associated with the apoE4 gene -- and then managed to prevent it damaging human neuron cells.

“Having one copy of the apoE4 gene more than doubles a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, whereas having two copies increases the risk 12-fold,” reports The Guardian in its online edition.

“Previous studies have indicated that roughly one in four people carry the gene. In human neurons, misshapen apoE4 protein cannot function properly and is broken down into disease-causing fragments in the cells.”

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