Researchers Working Hard To Unlock Alzheimer's Genetic SecretsEditor's Choice
Main Category: Alzheimer's / Dementia
Also Included In: Genetics
Article Date: 05 Jul 2012 - 10:00 PST
Researchers Working Hard To Unlock Alzheimer's Genetic Secrets
|Patient / Public:|
Researchers in the U.S. are on a mission to unlock the genetic secrets of Alzheimer's disease hiding in our DNA.
The study, which will be conducted by researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine and colleagues across the country, could significantly affect the development of treatments for Alzheimer's.
The researchers will sequence and examine genomes of more than 800 adults taking part in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The study, supported by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Alzheimer's Association, will provide a listing of all 3 billion segments (base pairs) of genetic code in each participant's DNA.
Andrew Saykin, Psy.D., director of the Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging and lead researcher for the genetics core of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, explained: "This is the equivalent of going from a good quality map of the United States to having the detailed blueprints for everything within our borders."
The DNA samples gathered from participants are stored at the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer's Disease at the IU School of Medicine. The repository, directed by Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D., P. Michael Conneally Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics, prepared the DNA samples that will be used in the study.
Dr. Foroud and Li Shen are co-lead researchers for the genetics core. Shen, Ph.D., is a computer scientist and assistant professor of radiology and imaging sciences. Illumina, a biotechnology equipment and services company will conduct the sequencing.
Martin Farlow, M.D., professor of neurology and associate director of the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Center, explained:
"This whole genome sequencing project should give us important new insights into the origins and processes of Alzheimer's disease, helping us develop new treatments and hopefully new preventative therapies."
At present, researchers around the world use data produced by the ADNI, but the new study will provide next-generation sequencing data on a significantly larger and refined scale.
Dr. Saykin, Raymond C. Beeler Professor of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. said:
"We will have a new ability to detect novel genetic variations related to what we see on brain scans and to other biomarkers, and this is likely to be important for understanding Alzheimer's during its critical early stages.
We believe that as much as 80 percent of the risk of Alzheimer's is inherited. But we can't explain nearly that much with our current slate of established candidate genes."
In 2010, Dr. Saykin's team carried out a genome-wide analysis of potential biomarkers for early detection of Alzheimer's disease and found a new gene believed to be related to Alzheimer's. In that study, the team used cerebrospinal fluid samples derived from 374 ADNI participants. However, in that study, the team were only able to assess a sample of common mutations that occur in at least 1% of the population.
Written by Grace Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
22 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247495.php>
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact Our News Editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.
Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.