APOE4 is not a genetic variant on the tip of every young person’s tongue. But if you have it, and you’re between the ages of 20 and 35, you may want to brush up on your cognitive memory skills.
An Oxford University study detailed this week found that carriers of APOE4, which occurs in roughly one-fourth of the British public, are at particular risk for Alzheimer’s and carriers of two copies of APOE4 have up to ten times the baseline risk.
MRI scans show that carriers, even whose brains were at rest, showed intense activity in the hippocampus–that brain’s memory center–compared to non-carriers. Eventually, the hippocampus fries itself out from exertion leaving fertile conditions for Alzheimer’s to set in.
Our in-house Alzheimer’s expert is out today, but we caught this item from Sweden on coffee as a deterrent to dementia that may be of some comfort for APOE4 carriers. So drink up, kids. (Five cups minimum per day.)