Navigation Links
Largest ever Alzheimer's genome study unveils dementia mysteries
Date:9/6/2009

British scientists have discovered two new genes associated with Alzheimer's disease, while French colleagues uncovered a third. The results, from the largest ever Alzheimer's genome-wide association study (GWAS) involving 16,000 individuals, are published in Nature Genetics. They are the first new genes found to be associated with the common form of Alzheimer's disease since 1993.

The Alzheimer's Research Trust spoke of "a leap forward for dementia research", the MRC's Sir Leszek Borysiewicz praised "a huge step towards achieving an earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's", and the Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan hailed the Cardiff-led study as "a real feather in the cap of Welsh science".

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Alzheimer's Research Trust and Welsh Assembly Government among others. The UK-led research involved scientists from universities in Cardiff, London, Cambridge, Nottingham, Southampton, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol and Belfast, who collaborated with Irish, German, Belgian, Greek and American institutions.

Previously only one gene, APOE4, had been associated with Alzheimer's disease. This study reveals two further genes, CLU and PICALM, are related to the disease. This is expected to provide scientists with a much clearer route to developing new treatments.

The paper's lead-author, Prof Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "Both CLU and PICALM highlight new pathways that lead to Alzheimer's disease. The CLU gene produces clusterin which normally acts to protect the brain in a variety of ways. Variation in this gene could remove this protection and contribute to Alzheimer's development. PICALM is important at synapses - connections between brain cells - and is involved in the transport of molecules into and inside of nerve cells, helping form memories and other brain functions. We know that the health of synapses is closely related to memory performance in Alzheimer's disease, thus changes in genes which affect synapses are likely to have a direct effect on disease development."

"This research is changing our understanding of what causes the common form of Alzheimer's disease and provides valuable new leads in the race to find treatments and possibly cures."

"It also shows that other genes can be identified using this method, and the group are already planning a larger study involving 60,000 people, which can be achieved within the next year."

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, which part-funded the study, said: "These findings are a leap forward for dementia research. At a time when we are yet to find ways of halting this devastating condition, this development is likely to spark off numerous new ideas, collaborations and more in the race for a cure.

"The work of Professor Williams and colleagues shows how British researchers lead the world in the struggle to understand and defeat dementia. With the right support for scientists, we can offer hope to the 30 million people worldwide who live with dementia.

The First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, said: "This major breakthrough in the battle to understand and develop treatments for Alzheimer's is good news for the 37,000 people in Wales and their carers who are affected by Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. It is a real feather in the cap of Welsh science that this important global study has been led by a Welsh scientist, Professor Julie Williams and that the Welsh Assembly Government was able to give financial support for her work. World-class research like this will help lead to improved treatment for this distressing disease, and may one day even mean we can cure dementia."

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, said: "Funding work on neurodegenerative diseases is a priority for us and MRC investment in this kind of innovative research is crucial in piecing together the Alzheimer's puzzle. This study is a huge step towards achieving an earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's and improving the lives of the many people affected by the disease."

The team shared their data with a further French-led study, also published in Nature Genetics, which has revealed compelling evidence for a third gene associated with Alzheimer's called CR1.

The only other genes that have been connected to Alzheimer's disease are in extremely rare cases of familial Alzheimer's disease, which is inherited in less than 1% of cases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Scheuber
ascheuber@alzheimers-research.org.uk
44-774-827-2171
Alzheimer's Research Trust
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Worlds largest ocean observatory takes shape
2. One of the Largest Wendys(R) Franchisees, Tar Heel Capital, Reduces Fraud and Slashes Costs with DigitalPersona
3. Scientists identify worlds largest leatherback turtle population
4. Disappearing act of worlds second largest fish explained
5. DOE makes largest Danforth Campus research award in history
6. Worlds largest snake discovered in fossilized rainforest
7. Largest prehistoric snake on record discovered in Colombia
8. At 2,500 pounds and 43 feet, prehistoric snake is the largest on record
9. Tips for making a green holiday from the worlds largest scientific society
10. Less than one month to opening of world’s largest global congress on osteoporosis
11. Paradigm Tactical Products to be Largest Distributor of Metal/Radiation Detection Wands in United States
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and ... rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of a transformation ... moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its service offering ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- International research firm Parks Associates announced today that ... TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona ... market and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain ... with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: