Finding could further improve understanding of disease mechanism, lead to new treatments
Researchers from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (MIND) have identified a gene variant that may increase the risk of late-onset Alzheimers disease. In the March 3 New England Journal of Medicine they report that specific changes in the gene for a protein called ubiquilin-1 are associated with an increased incidence of Alzheimers in two large study samples. The discovery could lead to improved understanding of the disease mechanism and a new target for the development of preventive and treatment strategies.
"We believe this variant moderately but significantly raises the risk of Alzheimers disease," says Lars Bertram, MD, of the Genetics and Aging Unit at MIND, lead author of the study. "We now have to pinpoint the biological defects that accompany this finding, which also needs to be independently replicated in other Alzheimers sample groups." Bertram is an assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
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