A major problem in the search for a cure for this debilitating form of dementia is that symptoms appear years after irreversible brain decay has already set in.
For the study, a team of scientists from the United States and Colombia tested 18- to 26-year-old members of an extended Colombian family that share a common ancestor and a genetic predisposition to develop an inherited form of Alzheimer’s.
One in three members of the clan carry a gene mutation that will lead to a rare form of the disease which hits people in their 40s, unlike the common variant which presents much later.
A brain scan comparison found that individuals who carry the errant gene have less grey matter in certain areas of the brain than those who don’t, scientists wrote in The Lancet medical journal.
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