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Sydney : An international team, including Australian researchers, has identified new regions of DNA that are associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia.

The researchers hope the findings could lead to a better understanding of how the debilitating disease occurs.

The research, published in Nature Genetics and released Tuesday, was based on a two-stage study of the genomes of more than 111,000 people with AD and nearly 670,000 controls who do not have the disease, Xinhua news agency reported. .

The research found that people with AD had several risk regions within their genomes that are lower in the control group. They initially found 42 risk regions, and further research into the new loci identified 31 genes that were suggestive of new genetically linked processes.

One of the researchers, Associate Professor Michelle Lupton from Australia’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, told Xinhua that the findings pinpointed actual genes and genetic regions that may be contributing to heredity.

Based on the findings, they refined the pre-existing “genetic risk score,” which is used to identify people who are more likely to get the disease.

“As you get older, you may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. So that’s when people only start seeing less cognition. About 50 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment may go on to get dementia, although others will not.”

“This suggests that people who have a higher risk score are more likely to get AD within three years, so you can try to prevent them from developing the disease.”

The research also confirmed previous findings about the proteins amyloid-beta and tau, which build up in and around nerve cells as Alzheimer’s progresses, and points to new evidence for the role of genes involved in inflammation. .

“We see that many genes involved in inflammation in the brain contribute to AD, particularly the involvement of microglia, immune cells in the brain. It gives clues to drug targets, and what to aim for when looking for drugs to treat or prevent AD,” Lupton said.

The researchers said their findings suggest that AD is caused by several different factors. As one of the factors, the heredity of the disease is estimated to be between 60 percent and 80 percent.

These newly identified genetic components provide an opportunity to determine pathophysiological processes in disease and to identify new biological features and new therapeutic targets through translational genomics.

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