Largest-ever Alzheimer’s gene study reveals five new genes that increase risk

The International Genomic Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) analyzed information from more than 94,000 individuals and found new information on the underlying causes of Alzheimer disease (AD), including five new genes that increase risk for the disease. Their findings were published in Nature Genetics.

The amyloid precursor protein

The study, which was funded in part by the National Institute on Aging and other components of the National Institutes of Health, follows results from a 2013 study, and used more genetic data than any other study of AD to date. In addition to confirming the known association of 20 genes with risk of Alzheimer’s and identifying the new risk genes, the team identified which cellular pathways might be implicated in the disease process. 

Gerard Schellenberg, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine from the Perelman School of Medicine, and a team of researchers in the U.S. and France found that their data implicated the immune system, lipid metabolism, and amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism. Mutations in the APP gene have been shown to be directly related to early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Read more at Penn Medicine News.