Big data helps find possible Alzheimer's-immune system connection

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Genetic Engineering News reported today that researchers used some big data analytics techniques in making connections between Alzheimer's disease and the immune system, which has helped identify a new gene variant that seems to strongly raise the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

According to an ABCNews report, the gene triples the chances of developing Alzheimer's and appears to harm memory and thinking in older people without dementia. Further tests on 3,550 Alzheimer's patients and more than 110,000 people without dementia in several countries, including the United States, found that the gene variant was more common in Alzheimer's patients.

Because of the gene's function within the central nervous system, the mutation "may lead to an increased predisposition to Alzheimer's disease through impaired containment of inflammatory processes," the researchers wrote online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For more:
- see the MedPage Today report

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