Mapping out how an Alzheimer’s gene works could lead to new treatments.
So far, nearly two dozen genes scattered across four chromosomes have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But identifying such genetic risk factors doesn’t mean that researchers fully understand how they contribute to cognitive decline and dementia. And that understanding is often crucial to turning genetic information into effective treatments.
Now a group of scientists report in the journal Neuron that they have pieced together the back story of one gene, known as CD33, that could lead to exciting new ways of removing the amyloid plaques that build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and cause so many problems with memory and cognitive functions.