Wednesday, November 14, 2012
A gene so powerful it nearly triples the risk of Alzheimer's disease has been discovered
It is the most potent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's identified in the past 20 years. The researchers used new sequencing techniques to home in on the TREM2 gene. Additional TREM2 sequencing was then performed. These studies led to identification of a set of rare variants in TREM2 that occurred more often in 1,092 Alzheimer's disease patients than in a control group of 1,107 healthy people. The most common variant, R47H, was then evaluated in follow-up studies of a large number of Alzheimer's disease patients and controls. The researchers showed unequivocally that the R47H variant of TREM2 substantially increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.