1. ITV Report

Cardiff Uni scientists make 'step forward' in Alzheimer's research

Scientists at Cardiff University have discovered a rare genetic mutation which increases the risk of Alzheimer's Disease. The team has been working on an international study with researchers from across the world and the group's findings show a link between the immune system and Alzheimer's. Our Health Correspondent Mariclare Carey-Jones explains.

Scientists at Cardiff University have been working with counterparts from around the world on a major new study into Alzheimer's Disease. They've had some interesting results. The team has discovered that an error on a gene in the immune system called TREM2 can increase the chances of person developing Alzheimers's - and that discovery could help to treat patients.

It's another step forward. It shows that some of the ideas that came out of findings two years ago are true and that we now need to be looking at the immune system as a significant component of Alzheimer's Disease. And we need to focus on that for potential new therapies.

– Professor Julie Williams, Cardiff University

Researchers here are optimistic that, in the next 10 to 15 years, there will be new therapies that will reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by focusing on a variety of different components of the disease, including the immune system.

The development has already been welcomed by the UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who says he wants Britain to lead the way in Alzheimer's research. Cardiff is already at the forefront of that research.