Families stalked by a remorseless killer that steals loved ones years before their time. Teams of scientists and health care professionals dedicated to finding the truth. If their work succeeds, the consequences could be profound -- both for the families involved and for the entire world.
It sounds like a Hollywood thriller, but this story is very real, as a new series of articles in the Arizona Republic called "Solving the Alzheimer's mystery" shows. The killer? Early-onset Alzheimer's, which strikes people in their 40s, decades before the disease shows symptoms in most who develop it. The families? Clustered in a ring of towns and villages around Medellin, Colombia and bonded together both by a common ancestry and by a genetic predisposition to early-onset Alzheimer's. The research study? The Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative's Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer's Disease (ADAD) prevention trial currently in progress.
Arizona Republic reporter Ken Alltucker has crafted both a terrific story and a great introduction to the role of genetic testing in Alzheimer's prevention research, and we hope you'll read his work and spread the word. The series began on February 15 and continues on Wednesday, February 18 and Sunday, February 22.
• Read the "Solving the Alzheimer's mystery," the first installment in the series
• Share the article on Facebook and Twitter
Part Two of the Arizona Republic series is now online. Read "The Cure?
" for more about how Banner Alzheimer's Institute pursued a bold research idea - testing a promising drug as a means to prevent the disease – in a population with a genetic mutation that destined them to get Alzheimer's as early as age 45.