Alzheimer’s Risk in Men Increases with Partial Loss of Y Chromosome, Study Reveals

Alzheimer’s Risk in Men Increases with Partial Loss of Y Chromosome, Study Reveals
Loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells puts men at the same risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as individuals carrying familial high-risk mutations, offering a new marker for assessing disease risk, also including other age-related diseases, such as cancer. Partial loss of the Y chromosome over time, present in 17 percent of men, has already been proposed as an explanation of why men live shorter lives than women, and is linked to cancer and other life-threatening diseases. This so-called postzygotic mutation — meaning it is not inherited — is more often found in older men, as well as in men who smoke. "Most genetic research today is focused on inherited gene variants — mutations that are inherited by the offspring, but what we're looking at are postzygotic mutations that are acquired during life," senior study author Lars Forsberg, a researcher in the Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology at Uppsala University in Sweden, said in a news release. The study, Mosaic Loss of Chromosome Y in Blood Is Associated with Alzheimer Disease, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, investigated the risk for Alzheimer’s in more than 3,000 men already enrolled in studies that provided access to blood samples: the European Alzheimer's Disease Initiative, the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men, and the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors. In all three groups of men, the research
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