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Study spots another 42 genes thought to trigger Alzheimer

Study spots another 42 genes thought to trigger Alzheimer

ANOTHER 42 genes linked to Alzheimer’s have been found by scientists in what they claim is a major discovery from the biggest study of its kind.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and slowly robs people of their memories and independence. No cure exists yet, although drugs can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

But experts say the new findings could open the door to new ways of treating the disease.

An international team of scientists discovered 75 regions of DNA linked to the cruel disease. These included 42 genetic quirks never before linked to Alzheimer’s.

They have also developed a genetic risk score to evaluate which at risk patients are most likely to go on to develop the disease within three years.

Experts welcomed the new study as providing another ‘piece of the puzzle’ of what causes the disease but added it will take more work to turn this into new treatments for patients.

Dr Rebecca Sims, co-author from Cardiff University, claimed the findings more than ‘double the number of identified genes’ thought to influence the risk of Alzheimer’s.

She said: ‘It provides exciting new targets for therapeutic intervention and advances our ability to develop algorithms to predict who will develop Alzheimer’s in later life.’

The UK experts carried out the research alongside colleagues from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

They analysed genomes, the total genetic instructions that make a person who they are, of just over 111,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease and 677,000 healthy controls.

The researchers published their genetic findings — dubbed a ‘major discovery’ — in the journal Nature Genetics.

Around 850,000 Britons have Alzheimer’s disease.   Alzheimer’s disease is most common in people over the age of 65, although people can develop it earlier.While there is no cure, medications are available to combat some of the symptoms.



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