As Human beings we all have a genetic code, Genes hold information that build and mainatain our cells, with genetic traits passed on to offspring, seen through the magic of biology, where we may have the same eye colour, hair colour, nose size etc as our parents. However some genetic traits aren't so easily visable, such as blood type, and increased risk of certain diseases.
Scientist believe the cause of Alzheimer's and Dementia is something deep rooted within the human genetic code and have recently undertaken one of the largest ever patient studies. A group including nearly three quarters of the world's Alzheimer's geneticists from 145 academic institutions looked at the DNA of 17,000 patients and 37,000 healthy people. From this information they discovered 21 genes linked to dementia, which is almost double the amount of genes previously linked to dementia.
This particular finding suggest there are 21 genes that increase the risk of a person developing Alzheimers or Dementia. This is a huge step in the direction of understanding what causes the disease. Prof Jule Williams one of the lead researchers from Cardiff University said "It is really difficult to treat a disease when you do not understand what causes it."
Professor Williams has also stated that the true value of this discovery will only be determined when specific genes are pinpointed for being responsible for these diseases. This is still a massive step forward into understanding the diseases, and once understood, treatment options may be discovered.