New Alzheimer's risk gene discovered

In the present study, researchers analyzed Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project data derived from over 10,000 people (research volunteers who agreed to have their genetic data evaluated in combination with their disease status), with the goal of identifying genetic variation associated with late-onset Alzheimer disease.

Preliminary results found evidence of late-onset Alzheimer disease -linked genetic variation within a segment of a gene called Mucin 6. Although the underlying mechanisms are mostly still unknown, researchers here believe that it's possible to draw credible and testable hypotheses based on these results. For example, the genetic variant that was associated with Alzheimer's disease risk may implicate a biochemical pathway in the brain that then represents a potential therapeutic target, a topic for future studies.

Findings were made in a group of patients that is relatively small. That sample size means two things: first, scientists should exercise caution and need to make sure the phenomenon can be replicated in other groups; and second, it implies that there is a very large effect size--the genetic variation is strongly associated with the disease.

Materials provided by Eurekalert.

Nov. 22, 2019, 10:57 a.m.

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