New research has revealed that a polygenic risk score for Alzheimer’s disease can correctly identify adults who have mild cognitive impairment (MCI) while they are in their 50s.
A polygenic risk score is a medical parameter used to assess the genetic liability for a specific disease by studying the genomes of large numbers of people that have the disease. It takes into account the effects of many small variations in DNA that are linked to the disease.
The study which was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, is the first to use an Alzheimer’s disease polygenic risk score to identify mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — which often precedes Alzheimer’s disease in a younger population of adults.
Speaking on this, senior study author William S. Kremen, a professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, says “Current studies of the (Alzheimer’s disease) polygenic risk score typically occur in adults in their 70s, but the (Alzheimer’s disease) pathological process begins decades before the onset of dementia.”
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Persons with MCI have “slight but noticeable” problems with memory, thinking, and other cognitive abilities though these symptoms are not severe enough to interfere with their daily lives or capacity to live independently.
However, another sort of MCI that affects memory, in particular raises the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia though not everyone with MCI may go on to develop dementia.
Whatever the sort of mild cognitive impairment that one may have, the good news is that it can be diagnosed early in life and its chances of developing into Alzheimer’s disease is limited.