Research

Genes & later-life risk

Different areas, different rates of development

The graph plots the trajectory of brain development for children carrying the ε3 and ε4 variants of the APOE gene in areas of the brain where they diverge (blue). Credit: Deoni lab/Brown University

Using a special MRI technique designed for studies of sleeping infants, researchers at Brown University and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute have found that infants who carry a gene associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease tend to have differences in brain development compared to infants who do not carry the gene. The findings are neither diagnostic nor predictive of Alzheimer’s, but they may be a step toward understanding how this gene confers risk much later in life.