New hope for Alzheimer`s sufferers

Washington: Researchers have taken a step closer to reducing the risk of Alzheimer`s disease by finding out how several variations in DNA sequence, which modify the disease, act.

Emerging evidence indicates that, much like in the case of high cholesterol, some Alzheimer`s disease risk is inherited while the remainder is environmental. Family and twin studies suggest that about 70 percent of total Alzheimer`s risk is hereditary.

UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging researchers found that a `protective` genetic variation near a gene called CD33 correlated strongly with how the CD33 mRNA was assembled in the human brain.

The authors found that a form of CD33 that lacked a critical functional domain correlates with reduced risk of Alzheimers disease. CD33 is thought to inhibit clearance of amyloid beta, a hallmark of Alzheimers disease.

The results obtained by the UK scientists indicate that inhibiting CD33 may reduce Alzheimer`s risk.

A drug tested for acute myeloid leukemia targets CD33, suggesting the potential for treatments based on CD33 to mitigate the risk for Alzheimer`s disease.

The research has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.


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