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Known Breast Cancer Gene May Be Linked to Development of Alzheimer’s

Posted on December 3, 2015 by Disability Help Group

It is widely known that the mutated form of the BRCA1 gene can predict a higher risk for ovarian and breast cancer. However, new research, reported in Nature Communications, from Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) may have found another link between the gene and a chronic disease.

Researchers studied the brains of patients who passed away and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, finding low levels of BRCA1 protein. This protein is responsible for repairing breaks in the DNA strands. The BRCA1 protein was the only DNA repair protein to have low levels present in Alzheimer’s patients.

Further testing of the connection between BRCA1 and Alzheimer’s was done by reducing the BRCA1 protein in the brains of healthy mice. The mice developed problems with learning and memory, indicators that there is a strong connection between cognitive health and BRCA1.

More studies may be considered to fully determine the connection between BRCA1 and critical brain functions, both for preventing Alzheimer’s and reducing overall cancer risk. Future studies could lead to focus on gene therapy to target the BRCA1 gene and repair it to reduce dementia risk.

If a Chronic Disease Prevents You From Working, Call Disability Help Group

Disability Help Group is here to support people who can no longer work and earn an income due to a severely disabling condition. Both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease may qualify you for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!