There are a few genetic markers that have been found to affect one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Probably the best known one is the APOE gene. There are three forms of the gene, ε2, ε3, and ε4. ε3 is the most common form, but it seems that the ε2 form may lowers one's risk and the ε4 form raises one's risk of developing Alzheimer's.Amazing. Clearly a lot of challenges, given embryos are already legally complex, and controversial. However, I would also think that families with high risk of alzheimer's would have the kind of perspective to judge. I was reading sort of fast. Is there currently a means of detecting the genetic markers for alzheimer's risk? Is the only leverage point for intervention at the embryo?
I agree that, for most genetic disorders, PGD is much easier, safer and cheaper way to ensure an embryo is free from genetic disease (a point which I made in my previous article on CRISPR gene editing technologies). Where gene editing has an application is in the introduction of rare protective alleles into embryos to significantly lower disease risk. For example, in this article, I look at a rare mutation (present in ~ 0.5% of Scandinavian people and virtually absent in other populations) that seems to lower one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by ~3.5 fold. There's certainly a lot more work that can be done before this rare allele could be introduced into embryos safely and efficiently, but such a therapy could potentially eliminate a large fraction of Alzheimer's cases in the next generation of people.I keep hearing people in the media talk about fixing errors in the genes for Huntington’s disease or cystic fibrosis in human embryos, but why wouldn’t you instead just screen for embryos without the disease-causing mutations? It is easier and probably far cheaper.
I do see therapeutic potential for genome editing of somatic cells for people with some diseases, especially ones affecting blood cells or other easily transplanted cells. And of course, CRISPR and other genome editing technologies will continue to be very, very useful in the lab to create model organisms and genetically modified cell lines. But for human embryos, I just don’t see a lot of upside to the technology.
There are also persons who don't die in a traffic accident, that does not mean gene editing will allow to eliminate traffic deaths.My position is that Alzheimer's could be entirely eliminated by genetic editing.
We know this is true.
There are super agers who live past a century without developing Alzheimer-like pathology.
Gene editing, properly done would eliminate 100% of Alzheimer's dementia.
Are we sure about that? Did someone screen the population with this mutation for all potentially problematic health issues? Would a 7% higher risk of getting disease X have been spotted, for all X? What about a 1% higher risk to get diseases A, B, C, D, E, F and G?Insights article said:Given that there are healthy individuals living today that carry this mutation, it does not seem likely that it causes severe problems, especially not at the 1 in 13 level.
They just reduce the risk.Genetic markers have been found that help prevent the onset of Alzheimer`s disease.
While I would be interested in a source for the claimed 90%, it does not help: your original claim was 100%.The APOE 3b variant that I mentioned had profound effects on lowering Alzheimer risk, up to 90%.
That is a much weaker statement.It cannot be assured, though I strongly suspect that CRISPering a set of genes could have a profound effect in reducing risk.
I don't know if it's accurate to say that there has been a sudden pandemic outbreak of Alzheimer's disease. First, the main risk factor for Alzheimer's is age, so the prevalence and incidence of the disease depends on the size of the otherwise healthy, elderly population in a society in which doctors could notice symptoms of the disease. Second, diagnostic criteria for many neurological diseases change over time, so increases in incidence of a disease could simply be due to changes in how doctors diagnose the disease. For example, diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease used to be reserved for individuals between the ages of 45 and 65, and it wasn't until 1977 that the term was applied to dementia in individuals over the age of 65 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alzheimer's_disease#History).Copper piping has been around for quite a while though.
If it does have some detrimental effect for health that may be so, but it can't explain a sudden pandemic outbreak if that is the case.