Three genes linked to Alzheimer’s

Two European studies could lead to the development of new treatment methods.

It is hoped that a medical breakthrough for dementia is a step closer after scientists in Europe identified three genes that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers in Britain discovered two new genes linked to the condition while French scientists discovered a third.

They are the first new genes found to be associated with the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease in 16 years.

Both papers were published in the journal, Nature Genetics.

The British study was the largest ever genome study for Alzheimer’s disease, with 16,000 participants.

Researchers hope further study of the CLU and PICALM genes will assist the development of treatments for people with Alzheimer’s.

“This research is changing our understanding of what causes the common form of Alzheimer’s disease and provides valuable new leads in the race to find treatments and possibly cures,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Julie Williams.

“It also shows that other genes can be identified using this method, and the group are already planning a larger study involving 60,000 people, which can be achieved within the next year.”
 
The French study showed compelling evidence for a third gene associated with Alzheimer’s called CRI.

The only other genes connected to Alzheimer’s disease only relate to extremely rare cases of familial Alzheimer’s disease, which is inherited in less than 1 per cent of cases.

Tags: alzheimers, genes, research, treatment,

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