It is better to understand the causes of this pathology in order to better treat it. This is the aim of this study, which identifies new genetic factors for the disease.
Great progress in Alzheimer’s disease research. A study by an international consortium of researchers, notably at the Pasteur Institute in Lille, has identified 42 new genes associated with the disease. This discovery gives hope that in the coming years funds will be found to combat this scourge that affects some 1,200,000 people in France.
“In the field of genetics, these advances are the most important in recent years in the field of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Jean-Charles Lambert, director of research at Inserm, who led the work.
This study revealed 75 genes associated with this pathology, of which 42 new, never seen before discovered. “We are doubling our knowledge of the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease, the researcher says. After this discovery, the rest of our work has been to characterize these regions of the genome that we have identified in order to give them meaning in relation to our biological and clinical knowledge and therefore to better understand the cellular mechanisms and pathological processes at work.”
These results open new opportunities for therapeutic research. “There are several directions for the development of several treatments, Jean-Charles Lambert says Genetics shows that a monotherapeutic approach is impossible, it must be polytherapeutic. There will be no miracle cure, no single cure.”
One of these pathways would be the inflammatory response in humans. “We need to control this and block it as soon as possible,” he explains. The good news is that clinical trials on this topic are already underway, which may speed up develop appropriate treatment.
Be careful, the appearance of the cure is not at the moment. “It will take 5 to 10 years to offer therapeutic components tested in clinical trials,” Jean-Charles Lambert says
Make no mistake, Alzheimer’s is not hereditary. “Just because someone in your family is sick doesn’t mean you will get sick, recalls researcher Inserm. It’s not fatal.” At the same time, the genetic component of a person can increase the predisposition to the development of pathology. “This accounts for 60 to 80% of the attributable risk, the rest being modifiable risk factors (diabetes, obesity, diet, exercise).”
To refine therapeutic responses, the researchers built a “genetic risk score”. “This makes it possible, depending on a person’s genetic heritage, to estimate the likelihood that that person will develop Alzheimer’s disease,” he explains. A tool for professionals to speed up treatment research to be developed. “The goal of the game is not to do a screening, but when a patient notices one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s at home, he can come and consult.”
“When the therapy becomes available, the question will be: when should this therapy be given and to what people?” the researcher asks. In fact, in this context, the calculation of the genetic score will allow the best possible therapeutic assistance to be offered.
To date, there is only one treatment (of the immunotherapeutic type) to combat this disease: aducanumab. However, the latter is disputed. If it is authorized in the United States, it is not recognized by the European Medicines Agency.
The study was carried out by researchers from Inserm, the Institut Pasteur de Lille, the University Hospital of Lille and the University of Lille in the framework of the U1167 laboratory “Molecular risk factors and determinants of diseases associated with aging”, in collaboration with international consortium.
Never the largest group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease to study this disease: Worldwide, 111,326 cases were studied with the same number of witnesses. The results are published in a scientific journal NatureGenetics.