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Feb 25, 2021

The single most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is a variant of apolipoprotein E, or APOE for short, a lipoprotein produced in the liver and brain. Roughly a quarter of all people living in the US – about 75 million people – carry a genetic variant of APOE called APOE4. Having APOE4 is associated with higher circulating levels of LDL cholesterol and an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. 
But having APOE4 doesn't mean that Alzheimer's disease is inevitable. In fact, lifestyle behaviors can modulate risk for the disease, too, especially sleep, which provides an opportunity to rid the brain of toxic metabolic byproducts that can contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk. Understanding our genetic risks and addressing lifestyle behaviors – especially our sleep patterns – can influence whether a person eventually develops Alzheimer's disease.

These Aliquot segments feature Dr. Dale Bredesen, a professor of neurology, and Dr. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology.
  • (00:00) Introduction
  • (02:37) ApoE4 increases Alzheimer’s disease risk, but healthy habits can reduce risk (Dale Bredesen discussion)
  • (05:20) People who are ApoE4+ have 2x the risk of having sleep apnea (Matthew Walker segments)
  • (12:03) Glial cells are the sewage system for the brain
You can see the original full interview with Dr. Bredesen
You can see the original full interview with Dr. Walker
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