Alzheimer's disease is known as the most common form of dementia among the elderly. With this in mind, it is very clear why scientists around the world are attempting to find a cause and cure for the malady.
According to CNN Health, researchers at Harvard Medical School are planning on sequencing the DNA of more than 800 Alzheimer's patients. The scientists will uncover all 6 billion letters in each person's genome. This may lead clinical diagnosticians to discover how any gene mutations change the cognitive functions of people with Alzheimer's and diagnose the disease early enough for treatment to be effective.
"It's probably dozens or scores of genes that are contributing to whether you get it and how severe it is in you," Dr. Robert Green, the lead researcher in this study, told the news source. "The genome is a complicated place. It’s not just about identifying a gene that puts you at risk. It’s about identifying other genes that modify those genes. It’s about identifying genes that protect you."
The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Brin Wojcicki Foundation are all partnering to accomplish this genomic sequencing venture. While the sequencing itself will take only three months, the analysis and conclusions will take much longer.
While U.S. researchers work on sequencing the DNA of Alzheimer's patients, researchers from Finland have developed a new diagnostics tool – PredictAD – aimed at earlier diagnosis of this disease. The device will measure each patient against a large index of symptoms of varying severity in other patients with Alzheimer's, according to ScienceDaily.
PredictAD will track the whole state of an Alzheimer's patient, showing a graphical representation and objective data to a clinician. New technology and genome-based diagnostics are likely to improve the outcome of many patients with Alzheimer's disease.
This article is brought to you by Slone Partners, a leading laboratory recruitment firm in the emerging sciences of molecular, clinical, and in-vitro diagnostics, anatomic pathology and personalized medicine.
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