Researchers have identified a gene that appears to increase a person's risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of the disease.
The gene, abbreviated as MTHFD1L, is on chromosome six, and was identified in a genome-wide association study.
The researchers were able to identify small differences in the genetic sequences of the MTHFD1L gene in people with and without Alzheimer's disease. The team found that individuals with the variation may be nearly twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as people without the variation.
The researchers observed the gene variation throughout the human genomes of 2,269 people with late-onset Alzheimer's disease and 3,107 without the disease.
Details are published in the journal PLoS Genetics.