The latest study takes a new approach, showing that, aside from ApoE, there are thousands of background genetic variations that each have a tiny influence on Alzheimer’s risk, but whose cumulative influence is substantial.
The researchers first identified nearly 2,000 single letter differences in the genetic code (known as SNPs) and, after ranking them for influence, developed a test based on 31 of the markers. The test was then used to accurately predict an individual’s risk of getting the disease in an independent patient cohort.
In people with the high-risk version of ApoE, those ranked in the top 10% of risk on the new test got Alzheimer’s at an average age of 84 years, compared with 95 years for those ranked in the lowest 10%.
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