NYU Langone Medical CenterApproximately more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and is said to be the most general type of senile dementia. Supposedly a family record of the disease is claimed to be one of the leading risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s. Now a global partnership headed by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers has discovered the likely basis for this heightened family risk, particularly from the maternal side.

Assisted by a new version of a brain-scanning method, the scientists seemed to have found a far larger amount of protein clumps associated with the disease among fit adult children of parents with Alzheimer’s disease as opposed to counterparts with no family record of dementia. The standard augment in these clumps, known as amyloid-beta plaques, was said to be predominantly unusual among study volunteers whose mothers had been detected with the disease. The plaques were supposedly seen in most of the areas in the brain.

The study checked around 42 fit people, counting 14 whose mothers suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, 14 whose fathers were with Alzheimer’s disease, and 14 counterparts with no family record of the disease. It was seen that on an average, the first group of subjects apparently exhibited a 15 percent more load of amyloid-beta deposits as compared to those with paternal family history, and a 20 percent elevated burden of the protein clumps as against those with no familial risk factors.

The findings of the research may clarify why family history is such a huge threat issue for the brain disease. People with an affected parent could encompass a four- to ten-fold bigger danger as compared to those with no family history.

Lisa Mosconi, PhD, lead author, research assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone, commented, “Given that brain pathology begins to accumulate years ahead of memory problems in Alzheimer’s disease, our findings are intriguing. There is a great effort underway to find early markers of disease, before symptoms appear, so that therapeutic approaches will one day delay or ultimately prevent this disease.”

The research apparently merges positron emission tomography (PET) with a fluorescent dye known as Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) that seems to underline brain amyloid plaques, facilitating scientists to actually view the deposits. The dye seemingly binds to plaques. Dr. Mosconi warns that her team’s imaging technique is said to be a likely potent research tool and is not yet prepared to be utilized as a diagnostic tool in the clinic.

The existence of plaques, nevertheless, may not essentially denote that a person may develop Alzheimer’s disease. It is not acknowledged why the deposits seemed to be more general among children of parents with the disease in the study, but Dr. Mosconi believes that a genetic mechanism could be involved.

Dr. Mosconi and her colleagues hope to track the research’s 42 subjects and more participants over time to examine the association between plaque formation and Alzheimer’s disease.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.