Diseases & Conditions

Can we fix Alzheimer's genes?

Ask the doctor

By , Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

illustration showing the concept of gene editing: a hand holding tweezers removing a section of DNA from a strand, alongside the words gene editing probably won't prevent Alzheimer's anytime soon

Q. Alzheimer's disease runs in my family. Could scientists fix the genes that cause the disease?

A. Your question highlights something important. Even just 30 years ago, we didn't know for sure if any genes increased the risk for Alzheimer's disease, and we surely had no tools for fixing such defective genes. Today, we do know several important genes, and we have gene editing tools, like CRISPR. But we're not yet able to prevent the disease in someone like you. Here's why.

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About the Author

photo of Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff is the Steven P. Simcox/Patrick A. Clifford/James H. Higby Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and editor in chief of the Harvard … See Full Bio
View all posts by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

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