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Alzheimers the disease of the degeneration of the brain was identified in 1907 by German physician Alois Alzheimer Four million Americans suffer from the disease which deprives the victimof the ability to remember think reason and eventually coordinate movement This most common form of dementia is caused physically by the gradual change in nerve cells which leads to the destruction of brain cells Studies find that this fourth leading cause of death affects more women than men and more Hispanics and African-Americans than Caucasians The disease can be present in two forms early onset Alzheimers affects those younger than age 65 whereas late onset Alzheimers affects those older Late onset Alzheimers affects more than 90 of sufferersInternet 1 This more common form has been recently discovered to affect those who possess a certain allele of the APOE apolipoprotein E gene located on Chromosome 19 APOE which encodes a protein that helps transport cholesterol in the body and also is involved in nerve cell repair comes in three alleles e2 e3 and e4 Those with one or two e4 alleles are deemed at higher risk of Alzheimers disease although those who possess APOE-e4 are not guaranteed to develop the disease APOE-e4 may simply be unable to efficiently repair nerve cells The presence of e4 does not signify if person will develop Alzheimers instead it signifies when he or she will get it Recent studies suggest that Alzheimers may be affected by an interaction between APOE and the newly discovered risk factor alpha-2-macrogobulin A2M a gene mutation on chromosome 12 A2M is a protein that deactivates proteases enzymes that carve up other proteins Alpha-2-macrogobulins involvement in Alzheimers development is especially likely because it attaches to the same cell surface protein as APOE and amyloid precursor-protein APP The unmutated form of A2M helps to get rid of the APP fragment beta-amyloid which is present in excess amounts in the brains of Alzheimers patients The mutant A2M which
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