|11 new Alzheimer's risk genes identified
A group of scientists have discovered 11 new genes that may be tied to the late-onset form of the dementia disease during the largest genetic analysis of Alzheimer's that ever completed.
The analysis, undertaken by the International Genomics Project (IGAP) and co-led by Cardiff University, Wales, UK, is quoted as saying in media reports Tuesday.
Scientists scanned the brains of 74,076 older volunteers with Alzheimer's and others who did not have the disease in 15 countries to come up with their findings.
Prior to this study, only 11 gene variants had been linked to late-onset Alzheimer's disease, including one called Apolipoprotein E-e4 (APOE-e4) which appeared to have the strongest impact on risk.
Now, with the latest research, scientists have doubled the known gene variants linked to the disease.
The identification of so many new genes offers promising new avenues to finding drug therapies, said Gerard Schellenberg, a professor of pathology at the University of Pennsylvania and the head of the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium, one of the participating U.S. groups.
"Not all are good drug targets, but the longer the list of genes that you know are implicated in a disease, the more likely you are to find one that might be a good candidate for a drug," he said, adding that it could take 10 to 15 years to develop drug therapies based on the new findings. --Xinhua