Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Alzheimer's. More risk on the mother's side?
Alzheimer's disease is known to have a hereditary element and people with first-degree relatives with the condition are four to 10 times more likely to develop the disease themselves compared to people with no family history of it. Researchers from the University of Kansas School of Medicine studied 53 people aged 60 and over who were followed for two years. 11 had a mother with Alzheimer's disease, 10 had a father with Alzheimer's and 32 had no family history of the condition. The groups took cognitive tests and had brain scans throughout the study. The researchers found that those participants who had a mother with Alzheimer's disease had twice as much grey-matter shrinkage and one-and-a-half times as much whole-brain shrinkage as people whose fathers had had the disease or who had no family history of it.