Link found between Alzheimer's and immune system

Link found between Alzheimer's and immune system

A new piece of research carried out at the University of Toronto's (U of T) Faculty of Medicine has found a link between a mutation in an immune system gene and Alzheimer's disease.

The study, which used data from 25,000 people, involved researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and University College London's Institute of Neurology.

It discovered a rare genetic mutation in the TREM2 gene - which has been shown to 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," said Dr Peter St George-Hyslop, director of U of T's Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

He added it is an "important" step towards uncovering the causes of the condition.

A study led by the University of Sussex recently found a gene linked to Alzheimer's may promote better-than-average memory and verbal skills in youth.

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