Scientists Identify Possible Alzheimer’s Gene

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s an encouraging study from the fight against Alzheimer’s. Scientists have identified a gene that may raise the risk of getting the most common form of the disease by about 45 percent.

Researchers say the gene appears to hamper a brain cell’s ability to take in calcium and that if drugs can be found that reverse its effect, they may be useful in fighting Alzheimer’s.

Most cases of Alzheimer’s appear after age 65. So far, only one gene has been firmly established as affecting the risk of this late-onset version. The gene proposed in the new study appears to have a much smaller impact on the disease risk.

Dozens of other genes are also under study as possibly affecting risk of the disease.

The new work appears in Friday’s issue of the journal Cell.