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Gene linked to Alzheimer’s

A gene that raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by at least 45 percent, and possibly higher, has been identified by New York scientists and an international team of gene hunters.

The discovery helps add context to what any layperson can see but what scientists have yet to fully explain: Most cases of Alzheimer’s occur in people who are 65 and older. Until now, only one gene had been identified as a likely culprit — ApoE4.

Now, Philippe Marambaud of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, and Fabien Compagne at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in Manhattan, have found another. They’ve dubbed the newly isolated gene CALHM1.

"What we found is that risk is completely independent from ApoE4, but it is possible for someone to be affected by both," Marambaud said of a double whammy inheritance pattern that could dramatically increase chances of Alzheimer’s disease.

Each gene when mutated possesses the capacity to confer Alzheimer’s by itself.

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Their results are reported Friday in the journal Cell.

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