New research published in the journal Nature has increased scientists' understanding of how mutations in the presenilin gene increases the risk of developing inherited, early-onset Alzheimer's disease. About 40% of people with this inherited form of Alzheimer's have a mutation in the presenilin genes which predisposes them to the accumulation of characteristic amyloid plaques in their brains. According to the authors of the study - Dr Dennis Selkoe of Harvard Medical School and colleagues - the findings suggest, although do not prove, that presenilin could be an enzyme called gamma secretase which may be responsible for the overproduction of beta-amyloid. If the findings are shown to be true, important advances could be made in therapeutics research.
Sources and References
In search of y-secretase
New insight into Alzheimer's genes