Employee Benefits

Scientists Identify Possible Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease

Most people know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  Approximately 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, 5.2 million are age 65 and over, but at least 200,000 are under 65. Scientists predict that by 2050, up to 16 million people will have the disease. In the U.S., it’s considered the sixth leading cause of death.

Historically, medical professionals have treated the symptoms associated with the disease because researchers could not find a cure or even a way to slow its progression. Until now.

Researchers at deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland, have discovered a rare mutation in a gene, called TREM2, that may triple the risk for Alzheimer’s in adults. The gene is involved in immune and inflammatory responses and may be a key piece in the puzzle of understanding the disease and identifying an effective treatment.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, link to the Alzheimer’s Association sheet of facts and figures.

You can also learn more about the deCODE study.


If you know of someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, what treatment options were offered?