A team of researchers has identified two genes that influence a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The new finding, which builds on previous work of identifying 24 susceptibility genes, enables a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the disease and offers further hope in developing new treatments. The work was published in Nature Genetics.

The two novel genes, which were not previously considered candidates for Alzheimer’s risk, were identified during a study which compared the DNA of tens of thousands of individuals with Alzheimer’s with aged-matched people who are free from the disease.

In addition to these two genes, the researchers also discovered a possible network of other genes and proteins that may be implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  The study also suggested that immune cells could play a causal role in Alzheimer’s, which may lead to new treatment approaches and targets, the scientists report.

Finally, the researchers say that the genes identified in the study reinforce the importance of microglia, which are responsible for clearing up damaged cells and proteins.

Paper:“Rare coding variants in PLCG2, ABI3, and TREM2 implicate microglial-mediated innate immunity in Alzheimer’s disease”

Reprinted from materials provided by Cardiff University.

September 19, 2017