Older than age

Published: Friday 15 October 1993

SCIENTISTS have discovered a gene that could make a person more prone to developing Alzheimer's disease -- a brain disorder that induces premature senility -- after the age of 65.

The suspected gene codes for a protein that transports cholesterol through the bloodstream and researchers have found abnormally high levels of the protein in the brains of Alzheimer's patients (New Scientist, Vol 139, No 1887).

The study conducted by Warren Strittmatter and his team from the laboratory of Allen Roses at Duke University in North Carolina concludes that of the people who inherited the gene from both parents, 91 per cent were afflicted with Alzheimer's, and of those who got the gene from one parent, 47 per cent were afflicted.

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