SUNDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The identification of five
new genes associated with Alzheimer's disease is a major advance
that will help improve understanding of what causes the condition,
say the scientists who pinpointed the genes.
Each of the genes individually contributes to the risk of
developing Alzheimer's disease, according to the studies in the
April 3 issue of
The five genes -- MS4A, CD2AP, CD33, EPHA1 and ABCA7 -- were
identified after the team of scientists from 44 universities and
research institutions in the United States analyzed genetic data
from more than 54,000 people.
Until this discovery, only four other genes had been confirmed
to be associated with Alzheimer's.
"This is the culmination of years of work on Alzheimer's disease by a large number of scientists, yet it is just the beginning in defining how genes influence memory and intellectual function as we age. We are all tremendously excited by our progress so far, but much remains to be done, both in understanding the genetics and in defining how these genes influence the disease process," study leader Gerard D. Schellenberg, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said in a Penn news release.
He and his colleagues in the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics
Consortium also contributed to the identification of a fifth
Alzheimer's-related gene by other groups of scientists in Europe
and the United States.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about