Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Center

Schizophrenia genes protect against the Alzheimer’s with more severe prognosis

Fundació ACE participates in the largest international study to date

Schizophrenia genes protect against the Alzheimer’s with more severe prognosis

 

  • Fundació ACE participates in a study, led by the University of Pittsburgh, with more than 1,200 DNA samples from Alzheimer’s patients.
  • More than 40% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s suffer from psychotic symptoms during the course of the disease.
  • The study, based on 6,000 DNA samples, has been published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry of the prestigious  Nature Publishing Group.

Fundació ACE has recently participated in an international study that confirms the existence of a certain combination of genes linked to schizophrenia that protect its wearer from suffering the most severe Alzheimer’s: Alzheimer’s with psychosis. The research starts from a previous thesis that shows that 61% of the factors that produce psychosis are genetic and its objective is to identify the mechanisms that aggravate this kind of dementia.

The study, the largest to date, is based on 6,000 DNA samples from patients with Alzheimer’s disease, of which one-fourth has been provided by the Fundació ACE, while the rest belong to multicenter entities that contribute With samples from various sources.

The causes that would explain this finding are still not conclusive, although one of the most solid theories is that it would be due to a change in the behavior of genes, at different times of life or in the context of different diseases.

Alzheimer’s with worse prognosis

Alzheimer’s with psychosis is, at the moment, dementia with a worse prognosis: the development of the disease is faster, the behavioral disorder is exacerbated, the life expectancy is reduced and the possibility of having to enter the patient is greater.

This variant, which today affects more than 40% of people with Alzheimer’s, has been repeatedly studied by scientists, in order to find out what mechanism the ferocity of this kind of dementia.

Traditionally, it had been believed that the carrier of the Alzheimer’s genes were also carriers of some psychosis genes, a theory that seems to be ruled out from genetic studies.

With the results of this research, published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry, a new opportunity is now open for clinical trials that point in the same direction and to rethink the effect of antipsychotics in the treatment of this Alzheimer’s variant. In addition, the researchers intend to extend this recent study, in the near future, by analyzing a larger number of samples.

Alzheimer’s Night

Fundació ACE continues to invest in research and encourages events to raise funds to finance the different studies it carries out. To this end and in collaboration with the Fundación Castell de Peralada, it promotes the Alzheimer’s Night, an annual meeting with research, treatment and prevention of the disease, which will take place in Peralada Castle on Friday 28 July.

This will be the second edition of the solidarity event that aims to raise awareness about the need to invest in research. This year the contributions of assistants and sponsors will go to the creation of the first Unit of Prevention and Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer of Fundació ACE.

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