Alzheimer's Linked to Form of Acne

A new genetic study has revealed an interesting correlation between the early onset of Alzheimer's Disease and acne inversa, a condition that affects the skin in the armpit and inner thigh. The team that made the finding was investigating the genetic mechanisms underlying the peculiar form of acne when they stumbled upon the connection.

According to the research, mutations in the gene called PSEN1 are responsible for causing acne inversa, and also for underlying symptoms related to the early onset of Alzheimer's. One of the most interesting aspects of the new research is that the mutations taking place in this gene are diverse, and that each of the possible variants underlies one of two conditions.

This led experts to conclude that acne inversa and Alzheimer's may be mutually-exclusive, as in unable to develop in the same patient at the same time. Scientists say that this idea is strengthen by the fact that no reports of two two conditions coexisting in the same patient have ever been reported.

My Health News Daily reports. “We were surprised that PSEN1 mutations caused acne inversa, but got even more excited after realizing” the source of the mutations, explains Xue Zhang. The expert, who is based at the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, was a researcher on the new study.

Details of the work were published online today, October 7, in the top journal Science. The Chinese group that conducted the research looked at the cases of 50 individuals aged 15 to 81, who were part of families that had been affected by acne inversa for generations. When comparing the results of genetic analyses conducted in this group with readings obtained from 200 people who did not suffer from the condition, the team determined that PSEN1 mutations were clearly responsible for it.

Previous investigations have already linked the early development of Alzheimer's to mutations in the gene. Some 160 possible mutations have thus far been classified. The new study results appear to indicate that people with acne inversa may in fact be protected from the form of dementia, so this may constitute a new avenue for development in Alzheimer's research. Zhang and his group have already announced plans to check the human genome for other genes that may underly the development of acne inversa.