posted on June 11, 2012 18:31
Researchers may have discovered a mechanism behind the largest known genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. The finding suggests possible strategies for prevention as well as a potential new drug target.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, affecting more than 5 million Americans. A hallmark of the disease is a protein fragment called beta-amyloid, which is thought to be toxic and forms clumps, or plaques, within the brain. Past studies have revealed several genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.
A gene called APOE has shown the strongest connection to the most common, late-onset form of the disease.
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