Genetic evidence may direct Alzheimer’s research away from amyloid beta as cause

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Previous research has revolved around the idea that accumulation in the brain of a small, sticky protein fragment — amyloid beta — causes Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is growing concern among researchers that this idea is not rapidly advancing global understanding of the disease or leading to successful treatments.

Now, scientists from the University of Adelaide claim that their analysis points to a new theory about how mutations of a particular gene, PSEN1, can trigger early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

“Most of the mutations that cause Alzheimer’s disease before retirement age are found in the PSEN1 gene,” says study leader, Associate Professor Michael Lardelli. “A huge research effort has focused on these mutations in the hope that advanced genetics analysis techniques might shed light on the still mysterious origins of both early and late onset Alzheimer’s disease.”

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Lardelli hopes that more can be learned through this new research direction.

“An exciting possibility is that the fundamentals of our idea may be extended to understanding the much more common late onset form of Alzheimer’s disease,” he says.

Read full, original post: Alzheimer’s Genetics Points to New Research Direction

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