Memory Loss and Your Genes: From the Dawn of Time Forward

Your genes play a surprisingly important role in determining your risk factors for memory loss. If we go way back into the mists of time, the branching out of the human species from Africa has much to do with likelihood of memory loss. Overall, the most common genetic type is APOEe3, common among people living around the Mediterranean and their ancestors. Another type, APOEe2 is widely distributed among all populations on earth, but is absent in Native Americans. A third type. APOEe4, also has spread throughout the world in all groups but is slightly more common among Aborigines, Lapps, New Guineans, and Native Americans.

While Memory Loss and Alzheimer's can affect people regardless of their genetic type depending on their age and lifestyle behaviors, APOEe4 has been noted by researchers for its greater than average link to Coronary Artery Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. Individuals with the homogenous zygote of APOEe4 represent a substantial percentage of the population around the world and in the U.S. According to researchers, APOEe4 individuals are at greater risk for early memory loss and Alzheimer's, with the disease often going undetected in the brain for decades.

Interestingly, people taking the tests from cognitivelabs.com get first-hand access to some of the technologies used in Stanford research studies of individuals at risk for Alzheimer's Disease.


Apolipoprotein E (APOE) allele distribution in the world. Is APOE*4 a 'thrifty' allele?

The Genographic Project, a global five-year study collecting DNA from 100,000 indigenous peoples spanning five continents by some of the world's top population geneticists and other leading experts who are aiming to map the history of human migration via DNA, invites all members of the public to take part. It aims at tracing the genetic lineage of various human populations on the planet - to put it simply, to establish the degree of kinship between the modern peoples. The $40 million privately funded initiative is a collaboration between National Geographic magazine, IBM, and the Waitt Family Foundation charity.

History Since the Last Ice Age

MIT Perspectives on Molecular Evolution

Slower Speed-of-Processing Is Associated with Presence of the Apolipoprotein ε4 Allele - Topic: Clinical assessment - Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Institute of Aging, New York City: APOE Catalyst Conference - presentation by J. Wesson Ashford, M.D.,Stanford/VA Alzheimer's Center, Stanford, CA

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