How did an anthropologist come to study Alzheimer's disease?
Initially, I became interested in people's responses to genetic testing for the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's. The uncertainties are enormous and even the experts cannot give you much information upon which to make decisions. Around that time I met Robert Green, a specialist in the genetics of Alzheimer's now at Harvard Medical School. He was starting a randomised, controlled trial of healthy people from families with a history of late-onset Alzheimer's.
What was the focus of the trial?
The e4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is associated with increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer's. The trial participants were tested to see which variant they carried and then followed up for a year with ...