New, faulty variants of genes CLU, CR1 and PICALM have been discovered in Alzheimer's research. The three variants have been found in "familial" cases (early-onset form) but their contributing role is still being theorized. Scientists think that CLU and CR1 may eliminate amyloid plaques . PICALM controls important chemical activity at the synapses of the brain, and transport of molecules that help memory formation and storage. The defective variants of these three genes would actually allow the toxin to build up in the brain instead of clear out, which would allow Alzheimer's to develop. While their role is still exactly unclear, it is a huge step toward research of the disease.
Separate studies show that inflammation in Alzheimer's patients may actually speed up the degenerative process of the disease. Chronic infections such as the cold and flu, and other ailments that cause an inflammatory response such as cuts and bruises. High levels of a certain protein associated with inflammation have been found in Alzheimer's patients with these types of conditions. These patients had a faster rate of memory loss than other patients without the conditions. Scientists believe that reduction of inflammation in Alzheimer's patients may slow down the degeneration process.