Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Putting Alzheimer’s on Ice?

New England Journal of Medicine 2013; 368:107-116
Iceland is not renowned for its contribution to medical science, being a small country in between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. However, that seems about to change as an Icelandic team scored two major papers and an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine in January. The fuss was all about TREM2 which is a receptor on brain cells which is involved in clearing away damaged tissue and inflammation associated with the damage.
What the Icelandic team has shown is that people with later onset dementia have a higher risk of the gene that codes for this receptor having a mutation. The mutation results in less TREM2 and therefore more brain inflammation.
All very interesting but clearly not the whole picture as the prevalence of the abnormal gene that codes for TREM2 in the general population is less than 1% so it cannot account for the 20% plus rate of Alzheimer’s in the older population. Also the odds ratio for the increased risk was less than 3 so hardly a massive rise. So not much in this for jobbing clinicians but watch this space for the development of drugs acting at the TREM2 receptor…


  1. I have sent to previous comments hope you got them they as well askingbfir help in this legal ethics problem I am faces with .its involved and sad and killing me

  2. My biggest concernces is for my mother who is repressing major depression surrounding the removal of my brother Todd from life support against my wishes and Hus power of atterny can't get him back but can help with the rest if the intentional neglujent tort as my oldest brother is controlling everyone in authority with his smooth lies he is dicribef to me as invalidstor and he is good.but I see through it and only a few others do to help me and my mom have freedom from this horrific case I wish no harm to anyone or to pursue it legally only for them to acknowledge its sivarity and stop him from his task he won't stop of admit wrong and I'm st harms reach ad he fears my knowldge of the truth which is blind to most thanks your the person so if any can see what I t is I see and comprehend the actions of Scott to see the lues he had told and help set straight the law that in is aware