New risk gene illuminates Alzheimer’s disease

A team of international scientists has isolated a gene thought to play a causal role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The newly identified gene affects accumulation of amyloid-beta, a protein believed to be one of the main causes of the damage that underpins this brain disease in humans. The gene encodes a protein that is important for intracellular transportation. This breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research could open new avenues for the design of therapeutics and pave the way for early detection by helping healthcare professionals identify those who are predisposed to the disease.

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