Gene abnormality linked to Alzheimer's

Abnormalities in the SORL1 gene have been linked to Alzheimer's in what is being billed as a major advance in understanding the origins of the memory-wasting disease. Scientists in the study examined the cases of 6,000 patients and found the genetic mutation appeared to be responsible for a large number of cases of late-onset Alzheimer's, the most common form of the disease. When the SORL1 gene is working properly, it prevents the amyloid precursor protein from becoming toxic. But when the gene is deficient, it allows the amyloid beta peptide to accumulate and foster amyloid plaques linked to Alzheimer's. A mutation of ApoE4 has been linked to about 20 percent of Alzheimer's cases. Researchers said that other genetic variants were also likely to be behind Alzheimer's.

- check out the Sydney Morning Herald report on the gene research

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