Repeat Coding in Gene Region Linked to Risk of Late-onset Alzheimer’s, Study Suggests

Repeat Coding in Gene Region Linked to Risk of Late-onset Alzheimer’s, Study Suggests
Longer sequence repeats in or near two genes may be linked to a higher risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, a study reports. The study "Alzheimer Disease Pathology-Associated Polymorphism in a Complex Variable Number of Tandem Repeat Region Within the MUC6 Gene, Near the AP2A2 Gene" was published in the Journal of Neuropathy and Experimental Neurology. Late-onset Alzheimer's, or symptoms first evident after age 60, is highly heritable. However, previous research has failed to identify genetic variations (mutations) accounting for a significant proportion of the risk for this disorder. In a study in elderly twins in Sweden, inheritance explained 79% of the risk, but common mutations accounted for only up to 50% of the variable clinical presentations. One possible reason for this is that certain regions of the genome are harder to analyze than others. In particular, regions with a high number of sequence repetitions have historically been difficult to analyze. (Sequence repetitions are repeated units of coding in genes, the nucleotides A,T,G, and C that are the building blocks of DNA.) Researchers at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at University of Kentucky used whole-exome sequencin
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