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Biggest ever analysis into causes of Alzheimers

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The causes of Alzheimer's are becoming clearer after the largest ever analysis of patient's DNA was conducted.

In an analysis of over 74,000 Alzheimer's patients researchers from 145 academic institutions across the world found versions of 21 genes that indicated whether a person was more likely to develop Alzheimer's. However, their presence does not guarantee the onset of Alzheimer's. Nearly three quarters of the world's Alzheimer's geneticists were involved in the research.

Professor Williams, the head of neurodegeneration at Cardiff University told the BBC that they have doubled the number of genes discovered and a very strong pattern is emerging.

‘There is something in the immune response which is causing Alzheimer's disease and we need to look at that,' he said.

By looking at the way the genes function in the body, researchers were able to see the processes that could lead to Alzheimer's.

The way the body deals with cholesterol and the process of endocytosis (how the brain deals with big molecules) also seem to be involved in some way.

The number of people developing Alzheimer's is on the rise due to the fact that people are living longer.

The findings were published in Nature Genetics and can be found here http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.2802.html

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