Sunday, June 29, 2008

Researchers Find Gene Variant For Alzheimer's That May Lead To Better Treatment

New York, NY (AHN) - Researchers say they've discovered a gene that may make it easier for people for developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease and could become a target for drug treatments.

Called calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (CALHM1), the gene controls the flow of calcium in and out of cells, influences the formation of "plaques" composed of clumps of a protein, beta-amyloid, which is believed to damage brain cells in the disease.

The gene is predominantly active in a region of the brain that is hit early in the disease, where it acts as a channel for calcium, researchers say in a new report in the June 27th issue of the journal Cell.

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