Alzheimer’s Review Highlights Importance of Epigenetic Changes

Alzheimer’s Review Highlights Importance of Epigenetic Changes
A recent review discussed how genes implicated in aging and Alzheimer’s disease exhibit epigenetic changes, indicating the same changes might exert a pathogenic role in dementia. The study, titled “Epigenetics of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Response,” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Epigenetics is the study of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off, and affect how these genes are read. This is the opposite of genetic variations caused by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic variability is common in physiological and pathological conditions. Evidence has shown that epigenetic alterations are present in different tissues as a result of the aging process and in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a complex and multifactorial disorder in which hundreds of genetic variants — involving  over 600 genes — might be involved. Conventional genomics does not fully explain AD pathogenesis, and epigenetics may help to understand some events. Major epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to AD pathology, although evidence is still very limited.  In this review, Ramón Cacabelos from the Institute of Medical Science and Genomic Medicine and Clara Torrellas from the Camilo José Cela University, Spain, gathered the current evidence regarding the epige
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