The genetics of late-onset Alzheimer's disease

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Of late-onset Alzheimer's disease patients 50% do not carry an apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, indicating that there must be other genetic or environmental risk factors for the disease. During the past few years, both genetic linkage and candidate gene studies have been undertaken in order to identify novel genetic risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Previous genome screens implicated a region of chromosome 12 that contains the genes that encode both α2-macroglobulin and the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein. However, candidate gene studies have produced mixed results with respect to both of these genes. New linkage studies now provide strong evidence for Alzheimer's disease susceptibility loci on chromosomes 9 and 10. The locus on chromosome 10 very probably modifies risk for Alzheimer's disease by modulating β-amyloid-42 levels.

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