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A new study raises the question of whether a genetic mutation associated with neurodegeneration in one environment could act in a positive way in a different setting.
Source: Arizona State University.
A new study shows cognitive decline may be influenced by the interaction of genetics and … worms?.
You’ve likely heard about being in the right place at the wrong time, but what about having the right genes in the wrong environment? In other words, could a genetic mutation (or allele) that puts populations at risk for illnesses in one environmental setting manifest itself in positive ways in a different setting?
That’s the question behind a recent paper published in FASEB Journal by several researchers including lead author Ben Trumble, an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change and ASU’s Center for Evolution and Medicine.
These researchers examined how the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene might function differently in an infectious environment than in the urban industrialized settings where ApoE has mostly been examined. All ApoE proteins help mediate cholesterol metabolism, and assist in the crucial activity of transporting fatty acids to the brain. But in industrialized societies, ApoE4 variant carriers also face up to a four-fold higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive declines, as well as a higher risk for cardiovascular disease./.../