Seeking Alzheimer's clues from few who escape genetic fate


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Doug Whitney inherited the same gene mutation that gave Alzheimer’s disease to his mother, brother and generations of other relatives by the unusually young age of 50.

Yet he’s a healthy 73, his mind still sharp. Somehow, the Washington man escaped his genetic fate.

So did a woman in Colombia who dodged her own family’s similar Alzheimer’s destiny for nearly three decades.

To scientists, these rare “escapees” didn’t just get lucky. They offer an unprecedented opportunity to learn how the body may naturally resist Alzheimer’s.

“It’s unique individuals oftentimes that really provide us with breakthroughs,” said Dr. Eric McDade of Washington University in St. Louis, where Whitney’s DNA is

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