Alzheimers disease (AD) is the leading neurodegenerative disorder in western countries. It is a fatal condition that causes loss of cognitive function. There is currently no cure for AD, although science has uncovered several genetic links to the condition. Because of those links, Alzheimers research & therapy has turned to genomics in an attempt to develop a roadmap for early detection, prevention, and treatment.
What Is Genomics?
There is a slight difference between genetics and genomics. While the former addresses patterns in individual genes and DNA, genomics turns to the entire genome that makes each person unique. Looking at your genetic makeup allows doctors and researchers to see if you have a predisposition to certain conditions, like cancer or Alzheimers disease.
Why Alzheimers Research & Therapy Is Turning to Genomics
That insight allows doctors to give you a tailored approach to preventing diseases or minimizing their impact. While all people have a similar genetic profile, there are slight differences that make each person a unique individual. Additionally, your genetic profile doesn’t guarantee that a certain trait will or won’t manifest.
Environmental factors impact what traits result from your genetic makeup. So, while you cannot change your DNA, you can change your behavior.
Some examples of how genomics can be used to help researchers limit the effects of Alzheimer’s disease include informing decisions about:
- Action plans for healthy behaviors and prevention of disease
- Cognitive therapy that is tailored to individual weaknesses
- Nutritional plans to meet dietary requirements and personal needs
- Therapeutics that may slow the progression of the disease
Memory Loss Can Be Stopped
If your genomic profile indicates a predisposition to Alzheimers disease, or if you have already been diagnosed with the condition, memory loss is not inevitable. Understanding your unique risks and how to best mitigate them can help. That is where genomics enters the picture. Talk to your health care provider to find out if genomics can help you slow its progression and visit the Genomic Medicine Center to learn more about your specific genome.