Scientists analyzing a gene linked to obesity and diabetes found that people with certain variants experienced more cognitive decline in middle age.


The findings, published Jan. 1 in the journal “Neurology,” add another element to an array that could someday chart risk profiles for each person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Just as importantly, those gene variants could become targets for drug developers if further research shows a link between mid-life cognitive decline and more serious late-life dementia.

“Ultimately we’d like to know more about risk factors that affect cognition because the time to intervene is earlier rather than later,” said Dr. Thomas Mosley, professor of geriatric medicine and director of the Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Research Center.

Funding: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded for the research.

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