Researchers identify potential Alzheimer's genes

The efforts of the International Genomics Project have made a discovery that might have practical applications to Alzheimer’s patients. The breakthrough comes in time for November, which is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

Teams from around the world are sharing information in the research effort. The participant pool is equally impressive: Data has been collected from 74,076 people in 15 different countries. According to their research, at least 21 genes might increase the risk of Alzheimer’s in individuals.

At present, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, which is considered a type of dementia. Although medications and other non-drug treatments may provide some relief with symptoms, the disease is progressive. The beta-amyloid plaque produced by the disease on brain tissue eventually causes severe losses in memory and cognitive functioning.

Until a cure is found, workers affected by the condition might be forced into early retirement. Yet cases have also been diagnosed in much younger individuals. Fortunately,Social Security disability insurance benefits might be available to both groups. However, the relationship between retirement and SSDI payments can be complex -- assuming that an applicant passes the rigorous disability application process.

An attorney who is familiar with these nuances might have a strategy for not only preparing a successful application, but also maximizing the benefits from all available programs. For some, that may mean retiring early with benefits. Hopefully, a worker that has contributed payroll deductions over the course of his or her career will be able to get both retirement and disability benefits, at the same time.

Source:, “Scientists discover 11 new Alzheimer's risk genes,” Catharine Paddock, Oct. 28, 2013