A new study led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with researchers from Australia and New York has identified 3 new genes associated with risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Among these 3, 2 are already being targeted by drugs for treating other conditions.
Researchers collected genetic information from more than 300,000 individuals from the UK Biobank, particularly those whose mother or father had developed AD. Since most of the individuals from the database were relatively young, there were very few that had AD. Gathering genetic data from individuals whose parents developed the disease enabled authors to pinpoint genetic patterns relevant to AD.
The analysed data was then combined with the data from an existing study which included 70,000 people with and without AD. 3 new gene variants were discovered which could possibly play a role in the development of AD. This adds to ~30 genes associated with AD risk that have previously discovered.
Dr Riccardo Marioni from the University of Edinburgh commented: "New genetic discoveries can provide vital clues to the biological processes involved in Alzheimer’s, but our genetic makeup is not the only factor that affects our risk of the disease.” "Additionally, genetic data and information about people’s lifestyle need to be combined to get a more comprehensive and personalised picture of Alzheimer’s risk,” he added.