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New study links another gene to risk of Alzheimer’s disease

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020 (HealthDay News), researchers say-genetic variation in some people may be associated with mental decline that cannot be explained by the deposition of two proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. there is.

They said their findings could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

The two proteins are amyloid β and tau. Amyloid is formed in plaque and tau is formed in tangles. Both are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, but they can also occur in the brains of older people who have no memory or thinking problems.

In this study, we discovered a gene mutation on chromosome 6 that alters the metabolism of an antioxidant called glutathione. This may be related to the thinning of the cortex of the brain, which plays a role in memory and thinking skills.

The findings were published online on September 16th in the journal. Neurology..

“Our study identified one important single nucleotide polymorphism associated with cognition. [mental] It decreases independently of the deposition of amyloid β and tau protein in the brain, “research author Yong Jung said in a journal news release.

“We have shown that this genetic variation has a negative impact on thinking and memory skills, partly because it is associated with thinning of the cortex of the brain,” he added.

Mr. Chung is an assistant professor in the Department of Biobrain Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea.

The study included 486 individuals with amyloid β deposits in their brains. Some have normal thinking and memory, some have mild mental illness, and some have Alzheimer’s.

Researchers used genetic analysis to identify genetic mutations associated with amyloid and tau-independent mental function. They estimated that 5% of changes in mental function were explained by single-gene mutations.

People with the variant had similar amounts of amyloid β and tau protein deposits in the brain as those without the genetic variant, but scored lower on the test of thinking skills.

11% of people with a genetic variant had normal thinking skills, compared to 25% of those without a variant. Mild disability was found in 40% of those with variants and 46% of those without variants. Forty-nine percent of patients with the variant had Alzheimer’s disease, compared to 29% of the patients without the variant.

“Amyloid β and tau protein deposits in the brain may be necessary for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, but the current thinking is that they alone are not sufficient to cause cognitive decline and dementia,” John said. It was. “Understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying the development of Alzheimer’s disease may lead to the development of new treatments for this catastrophic disease.”

For more information

The National Institute for Aging in the United States Alzheimer’s disease..

Source: Neurology, News Release, September 16, 2020

Robert Plate

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