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A Powerful Gene That Triples the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Posted by danasparks, Nov 14, 2012

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An international team, including researchers from MayoClinic, has discovered a gene so powerful it nearly triples the risk of  Alzheimer’s disease. It is the most potent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s identified in the past 20 years. Mayo Clinic researcher Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D., says, “The variant found in our study identifies a fascinating new Alzheimer’s disease gene, TREM2, which is involved in the immune system.” Pharmacologist Steven Younkin, M.D., Ph.D. adds, "Patients whose Alzheimer’s disease is driven by high-risk genetic variants will frequently transmit these variants to their children. We now know that it takes a long time for the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease to produce symptoms, so prevention in children who receive these variants would ideally begin when their elderly parents are diagnosed.”  The study was led by John Hardy, Ph.D., a researcher at the Institute of Neurology at University College London and a former professor at Mayo Clinic in Florida. The findings are in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read entire news release: Alzheimer's NEJM

Tags: Alzheimer’s disease, Florida, gene, Hardy, international, Minnesota, NEMJ, Petersen, Rademakers, TREM2, Younkin


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