Written by Pierce Legeion
Last updated on November 16, 2012 @ 11:17AM
Created on November 15, 2012 @ 5:47PM
Researchers have found a new gene that nearly triples your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. There is no cure for the disease but this discovery could lead to better treatments in the future.
Over 5 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer's disease. The findings of this study after a decade of research are significant because they give doctors a much better idea of what causes late-onset Alzheimer's disease.
The gene is a variation of the trem2 gene and was found more often in people who have the disease than people who don't. Doctors have found that it can interfere with the proper function of certain cells that work to stop inflammation and plaque build-up in the brain. This plaque buildup leads to the death of healthy brain cells as the disease progresses.
Doctors warn that you shouldn't run out to get tested for this gene. It is very rare and has only been found to increase your risk for getting Alzheimer's. More studies will need to be done to better understand how much of a role this gene actually has in the disease. Doctors say though that having another known source should lead to better treatments and hopefully prevention in the future.
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