Good Gene, Bad Gene

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

It seems like we are often on a quest to identify those genes associated with disease and/or other attributes of poor health and function. However, a well sustained, albeit less publicized, parallel effort is underway to identify genes associated with good health. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have now published in the Journal of the American Medical Association their findings on such a gene.

According to their research, having two copies of a particular CETP variant was highly associated with slower memory decline and general brain health. While this gene variant has long been known to have an association with longevity and with good vascular health, it has never been definitively associated with brain health.

This study confirms what many had hypothesized and represents good news for those with this genetic profile.

One unanswered question, which may be the topic of further study, is how this relates to previous knowledge about the increased risks for Alzheimer's conferred by the APOe4 gene? If both are present (APOe4 and CETP), how does that affect an individual's risk?

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