That fascinating gene, APOE (for apolipoprotein E), is back in the news again. You’ve probably heard of APOE as an indicator for Alzheimers disease or cardiac disease. (Around 40-65% of patients with Alzheimers have at least one copy of the e4 form of the gene. However, this gene alone doesn’t give a complete picture of risk. Previous comments )
Researchers at Northwestern University have published a study that indicates two fforms of the APOE gene, called e4 and e2, carry increased risk for cerebral palsy. In this cross-sectional study pf 209 children with CP and 209 healthy matched controls, the e4 form increased the overall risk of CP by 3.4-fold and the risk of quadriplegic/triplegic disease by 5.5-fold. Carrying the e2 form, which is much less common than e4, was associated with a 12-fold increased risk of CP.
For me, research like this just underscores the complexity of trying to associate genetic findings with everyday application into our everyday lives. Many people I talk to have the mistaken impression that each gene has one purpose and one effect. Finding a gene means we can find a solution. Like all things, genes are much more complicated than that!
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on Thursday, February 8th, 2007 at 1:03 pm and is filed under Human Genome.
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