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Study Suggests PTSD, Brain Injury Can Increase Impact of Alzheimer's-Linked Gene Variant

A large-scale study has found that head trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. While PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are known to increase dementia risk, some research has suggested that the epsilon 4 variant of apolipoprotein E (APOE) — the strongest Alzheimer's disease genetic risk factor — might modify that risk. In Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association this week, researchers from the VA Boston Healthcare System used data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs' Million Veteran Program to determine the effects of PTSD, TBI, and APOE epsilon 4 on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in veteran cohorts of European and African ancestry. They found higher rates of dementias in veterans with PTSD and TBI, as well as in those with APOE epsilon 4. Notably, they also discovered that the effects of PTSD and TBI on dementia rates was greater in APOE epsilon 4 carriers. The findings, the study's authors write, indicate that PTSD and TBI history "can be an important component of genetic dementia risk assessment and targeting early intervention."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

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Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

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In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.