Worldwide effort identifies 11 new Alzheimer's genes

Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM
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MIAMI, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A collaborative worldwide effort resulted in the identification of 11 new Alzheimer's genes -- doubling the potential for medications, U.S. researchers say.

Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, and Lindsay A. Farrer of Boston University, led the analysis teams for the American Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium.

The world's four largest research consortia on the genetics of Alzheimer's disease joined efforts to discover and map the genes that contribute to Alzheimer's.

The international team collected genetic information from 25,500 Alzheimer's disease patients and 49,038 controls from 15 countries to perform this two-stage meta-analysis that resulted in the discovery of 11 new genes in addition to those already known, and the identification of 13 other genes, yet to be validated.

One part of the genome, which plays a role in the immune system and inflammatory response, is associated with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, suggesting the diseases might have a common mechanism involved, and potentially a common drug target, the researchers said.

The findings were published in Nature Genetics.

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