Scientists Discovered a New Gene that Increases Alzheimers Risk

Published By : 06 Oct 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

A team of scientists including an Indian-origin member, has discovered an immune system gene that can be associated with higher buildup rates of amyloid plaque in brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Patients who are in their old age or are older adults are at high risk of this disease. 

An Indiana University School of Medicine led multi-institutional team discovered that a variant present in the IL 1RAP gene remained associated with greater accumulation of amyloid plaque over two years and it also had a stronger effect than the prominent APOE e4 allele, which is known to augment the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 

The researchers used positron emission tomography imaging to study nearly 500 individuals. During the survey they assesses the level of brain amyloid deposits, first during their initial visits, and the test was again conducted two years later. After this stage, the researchers conducted a genome-wide analysis to identify the genetic variants related to the rate of plaque accumulation through these two years window.  

As they thought, APOE e4 was identified to be associated with the increased rates of plaque buildup. However, investigators were startled to find that IL1RAP, which aids coding for Interleukin-1 Receptor Accessory Protein, also showed an independent but stronger effect on amyloid accumulation.

Researchers dubbed their discovery as intriguing since, IL1RAP always play a key role in the microglia activity, which are the immune system cells that act as ‘garbage disposal system” for brain. The new study also discovered that the amyloid-associated IL1RAP variant was also related to a lower level microglial activity, which is measured through PET scans, greater waste of temporal cortex (the part of brain associated with memory), faster intellectual decline, and increased possibility among the study participants to progress from mild intellectual or cognitive impairment to acute Alzheimer’s disease

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