Tags: alzheimer | cataract | gene

Gene Found Linking Cataracts, Alzheimer's

Monday, 17 September 2012 10:10 AM

Researchers have identified a gene that links age-related cataracts and Alzheimer's disease.
The finding, reported by investigators at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, add to a growing body of scientific evidence showing that these two age-related diseases may share common genetic roots and factors.
"Though much work remains to be done, a link between cataracts and Alzheimer's disease supports the idea of a systemic rather than brain-limited focus for processes leading to Alzheimer's disease," said Lindsay A. Farrer, a BU professor who led the study, published online in the Public Library of Science Journal PLOS ONE. "This study gives hope that we are moving toward earlier diagnosis and new treatment targets for this debilitating disease."
Researchers made the discovery by looking at brain images of patients enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Eye Study. Within a decade of patients’ original eye exams, investigators found “a significant correlation” between those who developed cataracts and both brain features and cognitive declines associated with Alzheimer's.
When the researchers then examined the patients’ DNA, they also found variations in a gene tied to cataracts also were associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.
This study was funded, in part, by the National Institute on Aging.

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A gene linked to age-related cataracts has also been implicated in Alzheimer's disease.
Monday, 17 September 2012 10:10 AM
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