Research conducted nearly seven years ago revealed that Puerto Ricans who inherited the APOE-e4 gene from their Spanish ancestors had a higher risk of developing it. Alzheimer’s disease That those who inherit it from the African side, according to the neurologist Presida Feliciano Astasiowho leads the study on the island.
APOE e4 is a gene and Dr. Margaret A. Pericac Vance describe it, but no one has seen it from the Afrotic phenotypes, where the gene comes into its own locality,” Feliciano Astasio noted about the Puerto Rico Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (PRADI), a study conducted by the University of Central Caribbean (UCC) and working in conjunction with the John P. Hussman Genome Institute. Human Research (HIHG), affiliated with the University of Miami, with the supervision of Pericak-Vance Feliciano Astasio Associate Professor at UCC and Principal Investigator at PRADI in Puerto Rico.
“One of our team’s new findings relates to the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene and its variant, APOE-e4, known to be the strongest genetic risk factor for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in Asian populations,” explains the PRADI handout to participants.
“We found that Puerto Rican people who inherited the APOE-e4 variant from their European ancestors were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people who inherited the APOE-e4 variant from their African ancestors,” notes the PRADI publication.
The initiative also aims to increase the representation of Hispanics and Latinos in genetic studies conducted worldwide to discover the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, in order to develop tests that help detect it at an early stage and, ultimately, devise medicines and therapies to manage and treat it. .
PRADI is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Likewise, it is part of the Alzheimer’s Sequencing Project, in which more than 150 researchers from around the world are participating, according to the publication.
Among the other findings of the group of researchers, which were revealed as part of the publications they published in specialized journals, Is that there is a genetic factor that, on the other hand, protects against the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people of African descent. The protective factor is associated with parts of chromosome 19 that interact with APOE-e4 in people of African descent, according to the article published in July 2022 in the journal Plos Genetics titled “A site at 19q13.31 significantly reduces the risk of ApoE ε4 for people of African descent.” African. Alzheimer’s disease of African origin”. The study was conducted with people from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
To conduct the PRADI study, they focused on families with two or three people with Alzheimer’s disease, and so far they have investigated the participation of 1,263 people who live in various municipalities of the island, in addition to the Puerto Ricans who reside there. United State.
Of the participants, 899 were women and 364 were men. The average age was 83, although the participants ranged from 40 to 96 years old. These undergo genetic testing through blood samples and neuropsychological evaluations.
Identifying participants and coordinating tests and follow-up is responsible Concepcion Silva VergaraProject community liaison coordinator. Silva Vergara was an attorney at the Office of the Elderly (Oppea) and has directed or been involved in service programs for seniors for more than 30 years.
For the new cycle of epidemiological and genetic study, the populations of Ponce, Cuamo, Juana Diaz, Mayaguez, San Germain, Cabo Rojo, Yauco, Hormiguero, Aníasco, San Sebastian, Aguada, Moca and Isabela will be evaluated. Where they hope to have 150, according to a letter sent to Opiah by Feliciano Astasio and Silva Vergara. The exam will be conducted in the week of March 13th to 17th.
The letter indicates, “We ask you to continue the cooperative efforts to coordinate with the centers and programs of the municipalities mentioned in the appointment of the participants in the appointment to facilitate the recruitment process and complete the files.” In it, a team from the John P. Hussman Human Genome Institute is expected to come to the island on the date when the tests will be carried out in the aforementioned municipalities. Those interested in participating may call (787) 403-3457 or (939) 238-1835.
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