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Four New Alzheimer's Disease Genes Identified

Researchers also confirm two other genes as risk loci for late-onset disease

MONDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified four new genes linked to Alzheimer's disease that individually appear to add to the risk of developing the disease; their findings have been published online April 3 in Nature Genetics.

Adam C. Naj, Ph.D., of the University of Miami, and colleagues with the Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium conducted a three-stage genome-wide association study of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) in 11,000 people with the disease and a close number of elderly controls with no signs of dementia.

The researchers confirmed four new genes associated with LOAD: MS4A4A, CD2AP, EPHA1, and CD33. They also helped identify and confirm BIN1 and PICALM as LOAD risk loci.

"This is a major advance in the field thanks to many scientists across the country working together over several years," David Bennett, M.D., director of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago, said in a statement. "These findings add key information needed to understand the causes of Alzheimer's disease and should help in discovering approaches to its treatment and prevention."

Several researchers disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and/or medical device companies.

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