There's a new dataset in Stall Catchers! This time we're dealing with "ApoE" gene. See below what that is...
As many of you will know, there are certain genetic factors involved Alzheimer's disease. If you have certain gene mutations, you might be more likely to get it.
ApoE genotype is the strongest genetic risk factor associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. That is, if you have certain mutations in the ApoE gene, you may have an increased risk to develop the disease.
There are two copies of each gene in the human genotype, called alleles. If you happen to have the ApoE4 gene variant in both of your ApoE gene alleles, you can have up to a 12-fold increased risk to develop Alzheimer's.
Approximately 14% of the general population carry the ApoE4 allele. It has been associated with altered cerebrovascular function - meaning that it affects the blood vessels in the brain - even before the presentation of cognitive symptoms, typical to Alzheimer's disease.
In this dataset, and those that will follow, the researchers will look at mice carrying two ApoE4 alleles and aim to see whether these mice have more stalls that the control mice.
The researchers will also look at whether age or the addition of hypertension (a cardiovascular risk factor strongly associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease) affects the number of stalled capillaries in mice that have the ApoE4 alleles. The hypothesis is, that the ApoE4 genotype may act a sort of catalyst that increases stall rate (and with it - Alzheimer's symptoms) in mice that have other risk factors, such as age and hypertension.