A recent study has strongly affirmed that Alzheimer’s disease might start to show symptoms in young children and adults, suggesting that with further investigations the disease could be treated early.
Researchers have determined in a new study that the Alzheimer’s gene might affect patients since their first years of life, even as early as in preschool. The study investigated 1,200 MRI brain scans of healthy adults and children between 3 and 20 years-old.
The memory-loss disease is the most common form of dementia, which typically appears in older adults and affects the patient’s memory, thinking, behavior and performance. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease represents 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.
The disease might be commonly associated with a part of aging, but in fact, it’s a disease that affects brain cells related to the patient’s memory causing them to lose memories, forget everyday stuff and eventually forget how to talk, write and communicate.
It has been proven, that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and symptoms tend to increase and worsen over the years. It commonly starts with slight memory loss, forgetting everyday things, confusion, etc. Even Though the average survival rate of an Alzheimer’s patient is eight years, it can variate according to the patient, and it’s cares.
There are ten basic signs to determine symptoms of the disease: memory loss, challenges in planning or problem solving, difficulties on completing tasks, confusions of times, trouble understanding, problems with words or speaking, judgment, misplacing, alienation of social activities, changes in personality.
Patients at risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, have a gene called apolipoprotein E, commonly known as APOE. The gene possesses three forms known as e2,e3 and e4, only a 14 percentage of people carry the e4 gene, which is most related to developing the disease.
Researchers found that patients with the APOE gene and the e4 variant had a smaller hippocampus (memory formation) than people without the gene. This led researchers to perform several memory tests.
By performing brain scans, researchers also determined that children with the e4 variant showed a slower response to the tests and more gradual development of the hippocampus, which is common in people with the disease.
According to the lead author of the study, Linda Chang, these symptoms are common in Alzheimer’s patients from 60 years and older. They were viewing them in younger children.
With the study, researchers were aiming to inform the presence of the e4 gene and the development of the smaller patients. To make some prevention methods or perform interventions of the disease in the children.
The study’s findings were published on July 13th in the journal Neurology.
Source: Tech Times