Researchers led by UK DRI Centre Director Prof Julie Williams at Cardiff, have unveiled a new perspective on the potential triggers and drivers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our growing knowledge of risk genes suggests multiple factors behind the condition, and clues for treatment development.
The review, published in Nature Neuroscience, outlines the Multiplex Model of the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease, which places genetics at the heart of the condition and key to finding new therapeutics. From Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), the field has identified over 50 genes that influence an individual’s risk of developing AD. Further mining into this data, using a method known as polygenic risk score (PRS), has revealed that there are several other genes that provide smaller contributions. However, when these are combined, they have a large and perhaps pivotal impact on overall risk.