Alzheimer's findings offer new direction on when, how to treat

Published: Thursday, July 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: Bloomberg reports on a new breakthrough that could help identify the causes of Alzheimer's long before the disease ever becomes active:

In separate probes into the roots of Alzheimers, scientists have uncovered a rare gene mutation that keeps plaque from forming in the brain and found the disease may take hold 25 years before symptoms appear.

The DNA variant slows production of an enzyme called beta secretase-1 that helps form the hallmark brain tangles. The finding, reported in the journal Nature, supports the validity of drugs being developed by Merck & Co., Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) and other companies designed to slow release of the enzyme, said Kari Stefansson, a report author.

Read more about New research on Alzheimer's on Bloomberg.com.

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