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CARPHOLOGY by A Fo Ben

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Alzheimer's genes doubled

Time Magazine described the identification of gene variants predisposing to Alzheimer's dementia (by Julie Williams' large collaboration) as one of the medical breakthroughs of 2009. The team has now identified five more susceptibility genes (ABCA7, MS4A6A/MS4A4E, EPHA1, CD33 and CD2AP). Combining analysis from four genome-wide association datasets, they identified 10 newly associated variants with p≤0.00001. They tested these variants for association in a second independent sample. So although Alzheimer's is a complex polygenetic disorder—its variance is described by the subtle interactions of many genes in many systems—the current prediction is that eliminating the detrimental effects of all 10 variants would eliminate 60% of Alzheimer's disease.

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Lithium: the ‘magic ion’

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