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Gene shown to triple chance of developing dementia

Gene shown to triple chance of developing dementia
15th November 2012

A new piece of research has shown that a new gene variant strongly raises the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

The study, which was carried out by an international group and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed links between gene TREM2 and Alzheimer's.

Dr William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association, told the Associated Press that in the future, this will be viewed as an important discovery.

"It points us to potential therapeutics in a more precise way than we’ve seen in the past," he said.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, although millions of older adults all over the world are affected by the neurological condition.

Dr Allan Levey, director of an Alzheimer's program at Emory University, which contributed to the research, explained the presence of the TREM2 gene increases the risk of Alzheimer's by three to four times.

He said: "It's a very strong effect."

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