Alzheimer's Breakthrough: Scientist Discover New Gene

Duke University researchers say they've pinpointed a gene that appears not only to predict a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but also when the person may start showing symptoms.

Researchers say the new gene, plus a previously discovered gene for Alzheimer's disease, could account for as much as 85-90 percent of a person's genetic risk.

Duke scientists also say the gene, called tomm-40, could predict the age of Alzheimer's disease onset within a 5 to 7 year window among people over age 60.

The researchers are planning another study to validate the genes and see whether experimental drugs could help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Cases of Alzheimer's are expected to swell to more than 107 million worldwide by 2050.

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