A new study will examine a rare form of Alzheimer's disease in an effort to unlock more clues into the workings of the condition.
Most Alzheimer's patients suffer from the late-onset form of the disease that usually occurs in people age 60 or older.
However, there is another form of Alzheimer's that is inherited and affects people as early as 30 years old. Less than five percent are diagnosed with this form.
In the past, research into this form was difficult, given the rarity of the condition and the geographic realities that kept the afflicted patients from research centers.
The new study, dubbed the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Disease Network (DIAN), plans to remedy those problems through an international network of patients. The six-year, $16 million study will be funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Researchers are calling for 300 volunteers with biological parents carrying the mutated genes amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 and presenilin 2.
Those interested in participating in DIAN should contact the study's global coordinator Angie Berry at Washington University at 314-286-2442 or visit www.dian-info.org. Participants must be 18 years or older.
An estimated 5.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with Alzheimer's disease.