Rare gene variants double risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Posted on December 12, 2013
Rare gene variants double risk for Alzheimer's disease

Carlos Cruchaga, Ph.D., (left) and Alison M. Goate, D.Phil., led a research effort that has identified rare variations in a gene that double a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Credit: Robert J. Boston
A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified variations in a gene that doubles a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

The research is published online Dec. 11 in the journal Nature.

Over the past two decades, scientists have discovered a number of common genetic variants linked to early-onset (which strikes before age 65) and the more common late-onset forms of Alzheimer’s disease. But those variants account for only a fraction of Alzheimer’s cases.

The newly identified variations, found in a gene never before linked to Alzheimer’s, occur rarely in the population, making them hard for researchers to identify. But they’re important because individuals who carry these variants are at substantially increased risk of the disease.

Read more at: MedicalXpress