Dementia and genes to be discussed

June 7, 2018

Dementia, a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with the activities of daily life, is not the result of a single mutation in a single gene, said Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor and founding director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio. On the contrary, recent explorations have pointed out dozens of genes that may be involved.

Dr. Seshadri and visiting scientists from Boston and the Rio Grande Valley/Venezuela will discuss “Can new genetic insights help us find better prevention and treatments for dementia?” at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at UT Health San Antonio. The public is invited to attend for free, including free parking.

The panel discussion will be in the Mabee Conference Room, room 406 of the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. The Mays Cancer Center is the newly named center home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Seshadri was senior author on a study announced this year that tripled the number of known genetic risk factors for stroke, which is a leading precipitator of dementia. This is but one example of dementia’s complex nature.

“Rather than one drug target there may be multiple drug targets, some that work for one person and some that work for another person,” Dr. Seshadri said. “It is important to study every person that we can, so can classify subtypes of dementia that will respond to different treatments.”

No therapies currently are available to reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or the other dementias, which is why scientists are studying the genetics of these diseases, she said.

To read the full article, visit the UT Health San Antonio Newsroom.

Article Categories: News, Research