29 January 2008

Genes that affect the risk of developing Alzheimer’s

Evidence found for genes that affect risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
Mayo Clinic: 17 January 2008
Through one of the largest studies yet of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and their brothers, sisters, and children, researchers at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville have found strong evidence that genes other than the well-known susceptibility risk factor APOE4 influence who is at risk for developing the neurodegenerative disease later in life.

Studying 25 multigenerational families of individuals diagnosed with late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the most common form of the disorder, as well as hundreds of other participants, the research team found that blood levels of amyloid beta (Aß) proteins associated with AD were significantly elevated compared to protein found in non-blood relatives, such as spouses. … > full story

Comments from Alzheimer's Australia Research Officer, Suzanne Dixon: This family study of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, one of the largest ever conducted, has identified several other susceptibility genes for the disease which in combination could be as powerful as the well-known APOE4 variant (known to be strongly associated with Alzheimer’s development). Three strong candidate genes on the same chromosome have been identified, including a gene that produces a protein to degrade both insulin and amyloid.

The large study, examining 25 multigenerational families, may also help to identify and confirm new markers for the disease, as certain Alzheimer-related proteins were found to be elevated in the blood of relatives of people with the disease. This will also point the way towards more accurate early diagnosis and therapy. (18 February 2008)

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