BYU Professor of Neuroscience, Dr. John Kauwe, gave a presentation Thursday at Utah State University on Alzheimer’s disease for the Cache County Caregivers Coalition.
Kauwe said the disease stems from the accumulated plaque as well as tangles in the neural endings of the brain, which makes it difficult for neurons to interact with each other.
Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to affect five million people in the United States and can be divided into two types: sporadic and familial. The sporadic form of the disease affects 99% of people with Alzheimer’s disease and is highly hereditary. Patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease have a late onset of 65 years or older.
Kauwe said the idea that if a person lives long enough they will get Alzheimer’s disease is not true; Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.
Kuawe participated in research at BYU to find out more about the disease.
âNow we have the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s disease which is headquartered in France and basically includes all the big dates set on the planet,â Kauwe said. âThis is it. These are consortia of consortia, the largest data set we’ve been able to pull together on Alzheimer’s disease, over 74,000 cases and controls in one study.
The study focuses on a much larger sample size from around the world rather than the small sample provided by individual research companies.
Research on Alzheimer’s disease will help scientists uncover the causes of neurological disease, which will bring scientists one step closer to eliminating the disease altogether.
Morgan Pratt is in his second year at Utah State University majoring in Journalism and Communications.