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Gene may help identify risk of Alzheimer's in African Americans, Mayo Clinic says
Date:4/12/2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida participated in a nationwide study that found minor differences between genes that contribute to late-onset Alzheimer's disease in African-Americans and in Caucasians.

The study, published April 10 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, was the first to look at the genetics of a large number of African-Americans diagnosed with this common form of Alzheimer's disease (1,968 patients) compared to 3,928 normal elderly African-American control participants.

The Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium conducted the study, which included Mayo Clinic in Florida investigators Neill R. Graff-Radford, M.D., and Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D. They provided genetic samples and data from their Alzheimer's disease databank.

The study found that the most common risk factor in these African-American patients was the APOE gene, which is also true for Caucasians with the disorder. In addition, another gene, ABCA7, which was discovered to be a risk locus for Caucasians, was also a significant risk factor in African-American patients.

The study concluded that association with variants at the ABCA7 gene increased the risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease approximately 1.8-fold in these African-American patients compared to 1.1-fold to 1.2-fold in individuals of European ancestry, although the biologic implications of this difference remains to be established.

Still, these differences may n
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Contact: Kevin Punsky
punsky.kevin@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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