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People Who Can't Read Face 2-3 Times Higher Dementia RiskEducation a Buffer Against Alzheimer's Among Blacks: StudyDown Syndrome Carries Raised Risk of Dementia by 55A Gene Kept One Woman From Developing Alzheimer's -- Could It Help Others?Number of Americans With Dementia Will Double by 2040: ReportIs Head Injury Causing Dementia? MRI Might ShowBanned Trans Fats Linked to Higher Dementia Risk: StudyFamily Can Help Keep Delirium at Bay After SurgeryPro Soccer Players More Likely to Develop Dementia: StudyDrug Limits Damage of Brain InjuryYour Personality as a Teen May Predict Your Risk of DementiaWhat Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?AHA News: Growing – and Aging – Hispanic Population at Risk for DementiaAHA News: Yo-Yoing Blood Pressure Could Be Bad for Those With Alzheimer'sGive Seniors a Memory Check at Annual Checkups, Experts SayFor People at High Risk, Evidence That Exercise Might Slow Alzheimer'sDementia Caregivers Often Face Sleepless NightsHealth Tip: Dementia and DrivingGetting Hitched Might Lower Your Odds for DementiaHow You Can Help Head Off Alzheimer's DiseaseDeep Brain 'Zap' Restores Vivid Memories to Alzheimer's PatientsHow to Protect a Loved One With Dementia During a Heat WaveToo Much Napping May Signal Alzheimer'sDepression, Alzheimer's Might Be Part of Same Process in Some Aging Brains: StudyStay Social to Help Cut Your Odds of DementiaBlood Test May Spot Brain Changes of Early Alzheimer'sClues to Why Women Have Higher Odds for Alzheimer'sA New and Better Way to 'Stage' Alzheimer's Patients?At Risk for Alzheimer's? Exercise Might Help Keep It at BayHealthy Living Can Cut Odds for Alzheimer's in People at Genetic RiskHormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer Linked to Heightened Alzheimer's RiskAlzheimer's Genes Might Show Effects in Your 20sWidely Prescribed Class of Meds Might Raise Dementia RiskCancer Survivors May Have Lower Odds for DementiaCommon Blood Pressure Med Might Help Fight Alzheimer'sEducation, Intelligence Might Protect Your BrainOpioids Put Alzheimer's Patients at Risk of Pneumonia: StudyFor Some, Trouble Tracking Finances Could Be Sign of DementiaIt's Never Too Late for New Brain CellsHigh LDL Cholesterol Tied to Early-Onset Alzheimer'sDoes Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Raise Dementia Risk?Could Alzheimer's Spread Like Infection Throughout the Brain?Newly Discovered Illness May Cause Nearly 1 in 5 Dementias, Experts SayFinancial Scammers Often Prey on People With Early DementiaMore Alzheimer's Drug Trial Failures: Are Researchers on the Wrong Track?Gum Disease Shows Possible Links to Alzheimer'sBrain Scans Spot, Track Alzheimer'sFewer Periods May Mean Higher Dementia RiskOnly Spoken Words Processed in Newly Discovered Brain RegionRate of U.S. Deaths Tied to Dementia Has More Than Doubled
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Scientists Find 5 New Genes That Sway Alzheimer's Risk

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Mar 1st 2019

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FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The largest study to date of the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer's has uncovered five new gene mutations that make people more vulnerable to the memory-robbing disease.

The international team of scientists analyzed the DNA of more than 94,000 people collected by the four groups that make up the International Genomic Alzheimer's Project.

"The ability to combine data from so many research groups gave us the power to detect new links to the causes of Alzheimer disease," said study co-lead author Brian Kunkle. He is an associate scientist at the University of Miami's John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics.

Margaret Pericak-Vance, director of the institute, added that "this is an exciting time to be studying Alzheimer disease" -- the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

"Genes contain the body's instruction manuals, and we now have a much better understanding of how to read the instructions related to Alzheimer disease as the initial step to translation to clinical care," she explained in a University of Miami news release.

Learning more about how the five gene variants influence Alzheimer's risk could improve knowledge on how the disease begins and provide potential new targets for drugs, the study authors said.

The researchers also found that certain gene variants that bind to a protein called tau may affect development of Alzheimer's at an earlier stage than previously thought. And they discovered a formerly unknown common feature between early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer disease -- how certain proteins called amyloid precursor proteins are broken down.

The latter finding suggests that some treatments developed for early-onset Alzheimer's may also work for late-onset disease, according to the study published Feb. 28 in the journal Nature Genetics.

The investigators also found that rare genetic variants -- those that occur in less than 1 percent of a population -- likely play an important role in Alzheimer disease.

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. In most people with Alzheimer's, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. According to the U.S. National Institute on Aging, more than 5.5 million Americans may have Alzheimer's.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about Alzheimer's disease.