Stahl EA et al. (2010) Genome-wide association study meta-analysis identifies seven new rheumatoid arthritis risk loci. Nat Genet. 42:508-514.
4. Understanding Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in people 65 years and older, and will become an increasing health concern as the population of the United States (and many other nations) ages. Currently more than five million Americans are thought to have the disease, but by the year 2050 that number is estimated to reach 14 million unless a cure or prevention method is developed.
Until very recently, mutations in only one gene APOE had been conclusively associated with the more common late-onset form of Alzheimer's (there are other mutations associated with early-onset, familial Alzheimer's disease). In the last few years, however, research groups studying large numbers of people have identified variants in several new genes with small effects on the disease.
As 23andMe reported in SNPwatch, researchers pulled together the results of several studies to find new Alzheimer's associated risk variants. The scientists, whose results appear online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that these variants may be important for unraveling the underlying biology of Alzheimer's, which will be essential in the quest to find new methods of treatment. The combined analysis also provided support for previously identified associations in the CLU and PICALM genes, but failed to confirm a third previously reported association in the CR1 gene with Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers from the CHARGE, GERAD1 and EADI1 Alzheimer's research consortia combined data from tens of thousands of people with European ancestry. The results of their analysis implicated SNPs rs744373 near the BIN1 gene and rs597668 near theEXOC3L2/BLOC1S3/ MARK4 genes. The BIN1 gene encodes a protein th
|Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein|