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17 new genetic variants linked to Alzheimer's disease identified

IANS Mar 22, 2024

A team of US researchers has identified 17 new genetic variants that may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, an advance to boost future treatment and prevention strategies for the neurodegenerative disease.

The team from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the University of Texas Health employed whole genome sequencing to find the 17 significant variants associated with Alzheimer's in five genomic regions. The results may help researchers to find rare and important genes and variants.

"By using whole genome sequencing in a diverse sample, we were able to not only identify novel genetic variants associated with Alzheimer's disease risk in known genetic regions but also characterise whether the known and novel associations are shared across populations," says study co-lead and corresponding author Chloe Sarnowski, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UTHealth.

For the study, the researchers conducted whole genome sequencing on data including more than 95 million variants among 4,567 participants with or without the disease.

Of the 17 significant variants, the team found that the KAT8 variant was most notable. KAT8 was linked with the neurodegenerative disease in "both the single and rare variant analyses".

Associations were also found with several rare TREM2 variants, the team said.

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