Rare gene variants double risk for Alzheimer’s disease

A team led by researchers at the School of Medicine has identified variations in a gene that double a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Pictured are Carlos Cruchaga, PhD (left), and Alison M. Goate, DPhil, who led the research effort.

Unlikely gene variants work together to raise Alzheimer’s risk

Studying spinal fluid from people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, School of Medicine researchers have found that a gene variation that had not been considered risky actually can increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease when it occurs in tandem with another gene variant known to elevate risk. Shown is an image of a brain with a buildup of amyloid deposits (highest amounts in yellow and red) that collect to form senile plaques in patients with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s progression tracked prior to dementia

A long-term study of older adults led by Anne Fagan (right) has helped validate a new system for identifying and classifying older adults with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Many researchers think this stage of the disease, which can last a decade or more, is critical window for slowing or stopping Alzheimer’s treatments.

Genetic markers ID second Alzheimer’s pathway

Researchers at Washington University have identified a new set of genetic markers for Alzheimer’s disease that point to a second pathway through which the disease develops. Much of the genetic research in Alzheimer’s centers on amyloid-beta, a key component of brain plaques in people with the disease. But the new study identified several genes linked to the tau protein, which is found in tangles.
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