Scientists study early childhood diarrhea

Nov 14, 2006

U.S. and Brazilian scientists say a gene linked with Alzheimer's disease may protect children from development problems of early childhood diarrhea.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil say children in Northeast Brazil who suffer from early childhood diarrhea and malnutrition also suffer from lasting physical and cognitive consequences.

"However, some children ... are protected from the developmental problems if they have the 'Alzheimer's gene' (APOE4)," said Dr. Richard Guerrant, director of the Center for Global Health at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. "Basically, we believe this gene protects the children early in life by helping them survive severe malnutrition, but the same gene potentially contributes to a multitude of problems later in life."

"This might have important implications for Brazil and other developing countries, where diabetes and cardiovascular disease are also becoming critical issues in public health," noted Dr. Reinaldo Oria, who is working as one of the principal investigators in Brazil.

Oria said the primary goal of the study will be to develop interventional therapies based on critical nutrients which children need for their cognitive and physical development.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Serotonin neuron subtypes: New insights could inform SIDS understanding, depression treatment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In Amazon wars, bands of brothers-in-law

Oct 27, 2014

When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from ...

Latin America universities fail to make grade

Oct 13, 2014

Nobel prize week can prompt uncomfortable soul-searching at universities in Latin America, which has produced relatively few winners in the sciences—a symptom, experts say, of the region's struggles in ...

Could biology explain the evolution of religion?

May 28, 2014

For a biologist like me, the interesting questions about religion have always been where did it come from and why did it evolve? I taught evolutionary biology in a Catholic University in the most Catholic country in the world – Brazil. Some of my colleagues here in the UK thought that must have bee ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.