Possible Link Between Immune System and Alzheimer's Disease
November 15, 2012 -- An international research team has discovered a
link between a mutation in an immune system gene and Alzheimer's disease...
Using data from 25,000 people, researchers discovered that a rare genetic
mutation in the TREM2 gene -- which helps trigger immune system responses -- is also associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's...
"This discovery provides an increasingly firm link between brain inflammation
and increased risk for Alzheimer's disease," said Peter St George-Hyslop, MD..
The team began by sequencing the genes of 1,092 patients with Alzheimer's
disease and a control group of 1,107 healthy people.
The results showed several mutations in the TREM2 gene occurred more frequently in people who had the disease than in those without the disease.
One mutation -- known as R47H -- had a particularly strong association with the disease. The mutation makes a patient 3 times more likely to develop the disease, although it affects just 0.3T of the population.
"While the genetic mutation we found is extremely rare, its effect on the
immune system is a strong indicator that this system may be a key player in the disease," said lead author Rita Geurreiro, MD...