The 10-year risk estimates for Alzheimer's and dementia specific to age, sex and common variation in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, could help flag high-risk individuals who may benefit from early targeted treatment, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Tuesday.
Alzheimer's disease is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented or cured, The Alzheimer’s Association noted.
An estimated 5.7 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer's dementia, which is a major cause of disability in older adults worldwide.
No effective treatment is currently available, but researchers are increasingly turning their attention to early detection.
The Danish study published in CMAJ focused on the reduction of risk factors, which could potentially delay or prevent the development of dementia.
The research team turned to age, sex and common variations in the APOE gene to identify high-risk individuals who could benefit from early targeted interventions to reduce risk factors.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the APOE gene is a type of protein that plays a role in fat metabolism in the body and plays a role in cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease.
In their study of 104,537 people in Copenhagen, Denmark, researchers identified high-risk groups through the combination of age, sex and the APOE gene.
According to a news release, there was a 7 percent risk for women and 6 percent risk for men in their 60s, and a 16 percent and 12 percent risk, respectively, for people in their 70s.
Those numbers jumped to a 24 percent and 19 percent risk, respectively, for those aged 80 years and older.
"If those individuals at highest risk can be identified, a targeted prevention with risk-factor reduction can be initiated early before disease has developed, thus delaying onset of dementia or preventing it," Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, professor at the University of Copenhagen, who was involved in the study, said in a statement.
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