Alzheimer's Disease Worldwide Collaboration Research

Nov 11, 2013

Plaques and tangles build up on neuron endings in patients with Alzheimer's Disease.

BYU Professor of neuroscience, Dr. John Kauwe, gave a presentation Thursday at Utah State University on Alzheimer’s disease for the Cache County Caregivers Coalition.

Kauwe said the disease comes from built up plaque as well as tangles in the neuron endings of the brain which make it hard for neurons to interact with one another.

Alzheimer's disease is estimated to affect five million people in the U.S. and is separated into two types- sporadic and familial. The sporadic form of the disease effects 99 percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s and is highly hereditary. Patients who have sporadic Alzheimer's have a late onset of 65 years of age or older.

Kauwe said the idea that if a person lives long enough, they will get Alzheimer's is not true; Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging.

Kuawe participated in research at BYU to discover more about the disease.

“Now we have the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s disease that’s headquartered in France and includes essentially every large date set on the planet," Kauwe said. "This is it. This is the consortiums of consortiums, the biggest data set we could put together in Alzheimer’s disease, over 74,000 cases and controls in one study.”

The study focuses on a much broader sample size from around the world rather than the small sample provided by individual research companies.

The research on Alzheimer’s disease will help scientists discover what causes the neurological illness which will get scientists one step closer to getting rid of the disease completely.

Morgan Pratt is a sophomore at Utah State University majoring in Journalism and Communications.