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New Variants Associated with Alzheimer’s Discovered | Medilogy
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New Variants Associated with Alzheimer’s Discovered

A new study may lead to a better understanding of the Alzheimer’s diseases, especially its biology. Teams of European scientists may have discovered new genetic variants associated with the Alzheimer’s disease, which explain about 20 percent of the risks behind acquiring the disease.

These genetic variants were discovered by Julie Williams of Cardiff University in Wales who scanned genomes of around 19,000 patients. Two variants apparently showed up consistently, making it statistically significant in involvement with the disease. Another study conducted by Philippe Amouyel of University of Lille in France also found two variants, one of which was the same one Williams’s team discovered. The fact that both the studies agreed upon one gene, confirms the reliability of the experiment and its significance in association with the disease. “More than 550 genes have been proposed in various small-scale studies as the cause of Alzheimer’s, but all have failed the test of replication by others,” Dr. Amouyel said.

This particular research is one of the largest study conducted on Alzheimer’s as it uses around a copious number of patients and a new technique called genome-wide association study, in which the device scans the DNA of the patients and is programmed to recognize about half a million locations of variation on the genome.

The new variant discovered is located in a gene that is active at the synapses (junction between brain cells) and the other two tend to damp down inflammation in the brain. Many believe inflammation to be the effect of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Williams stated that, “the detection of the new variants, which undercut the brain’s efforts to restrain inflammation, suggested inflammation might play a primary role.”

Just a quick history fact: Dr. Allen Roses of Duke University discovered a variant, ApoE4 that had the most influence on Alzheimer’s in 1993.

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