U.S. researchers say they’ve identified more genes that may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
They studied nearly 6,000 people with Alzheimer’s and 5,000 people with healthy brains and pinpointed rare variations in genes that may play a role in the mind-degenerating disease.
The newly identified genes suggest that an inflammatory response and changes in the production of certain proteins contribute to brain deterioration in Alzheimer’s patients.
This and related genetic research improves understanding of Alzheimer’s and could lead to new treatments for the disease, according to the authors of the study.
The research was conducted by Boston University School of Medicine scientists and other scientists nationwide involved in the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), which was developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
“This large and deep gene sequencing study is an important part of identifying which variations may play a part in risk of getting Alzheimer’s or protection against it,” said Dr. Eliezer Masliah, director of the NIH Division of Neuroscience.
“Big data efforts like the ADSP are really helping research move forward. Identifying rare variants could enhance our ability to find novel therapeutic targets and advance precision medicine approaches for Alzheimer’s disease,” Masliah said in a Boston University news release.
The study was published Aug. 14 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about Alzheimer’s disease.