The genes that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, such as those related to dopamine, are the same ones that are found in all of us, including some who have the disease.
The study, which examined more than 11,000 people from four European countries, found that people with more genes linked to AD had higher levels of the genetic variant that is linked to the disease and more aggressive symptoms.
“It is likely that the genetic variants associated with AD may confer the same benefits to a person’s life expectancy as those associated with a more common form of dementia,” study author and neuroscientist Daniela Zampini from the University of Leuven in Belgium told CNN.
The research suggests that a person with a mutation in a particular gene could have a greater chance of developing AD than someone with a genetic mutation that does not.
It is also possible that some people with genetic variants that increase their risk of dementia may be more likely to have the mutation than others.
Researchers hope that their study will lead to better treatments for people with AD and help to find new ways to treat the disease in the future.
“Our results have significant implications for the future of AD research,” Zampinis said in a statement.
“We hope that the results of future studies will contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of the disease, as well as its prevention.”
For more on dementia, see our coverage of the study, and our previous coverage of new findings about the disease linked to a particular variant of the gene.