University at Buffalo researchers have determined that a human gene present in 75 percent of the population is a key reason why a class of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease seemed promising in animal studies only to fail in human studies.
The researchers say the work suggests that in different Alzheimer’s disease patients, different mechanisms are at work that determine whether or not a given therapy will be effective.
While a previous study by the researchers studied the function of the gene in tissue culture, this is the first time that drug effect based on a patients’ genotype has been clinically shown.
The UB researchers caution that the study has its limitations and randomized double blind studies are needed to confirm the results.
The research was presented today at the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Los Angeles. It was conducted on data from a ten-year, longitudinal, multicenter cohort study by the Texas Alzheimer Research and Care Consortium (TARCC) on 345 Alzheimer’s patients. The UB researchers are collaborators on the TARCC.
Co-authors with Dr. Kinga Szigeti, director of the Alzheimer‘s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at UB Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, are Dr. Aya Ouf, research assistant in the Department of Neurology; Dr. Joan S. Reisch, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Dr. Valory Pavlik of Baylor College of Medicine; Dr. Gregory Wilding, chair and professor, Department of Biostatistics, and Dr. Ziquiang Chen, both of the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.
The work was funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Clinical and Translational Science Award pilot grant program, the Edward A. and Stephanie E. Fial Fund, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Dr. Louis Sklarow Memorial Trust.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 16