Study: Moms, Not Dads, Pass on Alzheimer's Risk

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Family history is one of the leading risk factors for developing Alzheimer's, but a new study from the University of Kansas suggests inheriting it from your father is preferable to getting the disease from mom.

Researchers found that subjects whose mothers suffered from Alzheimer's experienced "about one-and-a-half times more whole brain shrinkage per year than those who had a father with the disease." The brains of subjects whose fathers had the disease remained "essentially the same as those of subjects with no family history."

The Los Angeles Times writes that while the exact reasons are unknown for the increased aggressiveness of Alzheimer's inherited from mom, researchers suggest it can be attributed to their role in transferring "mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from one's mother and which may be responsible for faulty glucose metabolism in brain tissue affected by Alzheimer's."

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