Can Genes Determine a Prevention Strategy’s Effectiveness?

You already know that some genes can affect your risk of developing a disease. But did you know that scientists believe that those genes may also affect whether a given treatment can protect your brain? 

People who carry the E4 variant of apolipoprotein E (APOE4) are more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease than people who carry APOE2 or APOE3 variants. But some research also suggests that APOE4 carriers can be more or less likely to respond positively to different actions and treatments thought to protect the brain. For example, some research suggests that the brains of APOE4 carriers are more likely to benefit from exercise and hypertension management, but less likely to benefit from the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA

Because many of us can now choose to learn our APOE status, scientists at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation have updated Cognitive Vitality to include an overview of what apolipoprotein E means for your health. New reports on Cognitive Vitality will also evaluate evidence that a prevention tactic could be more or less effective in APOE4 carriers. In many cases, no evidence exists because many ideas for prevention have not been adequately researched. If some evidence does exist for an interaction, however, we’ll add it to our reports.

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