Could targeting variants of this gene help fight Alzheimer's disease?

Researchers have identified gene variants that appear to be able to alter the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by changing levels of a protein that is present in cerebrospinal fluid.

It was found that variants in the MS4A4A gene influence the risk of both early and late onset Alzheimer’s disease. These variants alter levels of the TREM2 protein, which helps the brain to clear away excess amyloid and tau. Buildup of amyloid and tau are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

It is hoped that this information can help to the development of a way to increase the levels of TREM2 in cerebrospinal fluid in an effort to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease or slow the development. The findings have been published in Science Translational Medicine.

Researchers have found variants of a gene that influence Alzheimer’s disease risk through their effect on a cerebrospinal fluid protein.

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