[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested the hypothesis that harm avoidance, a trait associated with behavioral inhibition, is associated with the rate of change in parkinsonism in older adults.
At baseline harm avoidance was assessed with a standard self-report instrument in 969 older people without dementia participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal community-based cohort study. Parkinsonism was assessed annually with a modified version of the motor section of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (mUPDRS).
Average follow-up was 5 years. A linear mixed-effects model controlling for age, sex and education showed that for an average participant (female, 80 years old at baseline, with 14 years of education and a harm avoidance score of 10), the overall severity of parkinsonism increased by about 0.05 unit/ year (Estimate, 0.054, S.E., 0.007, p <0.001) and that the level of harm avoidance was associated with the progression of parkinsonism (Estimate, 0.004, S.E., 0.001, p <0.001). Thus, for an average participant, every 6 point (~1 SD) increase in harm avoidance score at baseline, the rate of progression of parkinsonism increased about 50% compared to an individual with an average harm avoidance score. This amount of change in parkinsonism over the course of the study was associated with about a 5% increased risk of death. The association between harm avoidance and progression of parkinsonism persisted when controlling for cognitive function, depressive symptoms, loneliness, neuroticism, late-life cognitive, social and physical activities and chronic health conditions.
A higher level of the harm avoidance trait is associated with a more rapid progression of parkinsonism in older adults.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Parkinsonian motor signs are common in the aging population and are associated with adverse health outcomes. Compared with Parkinson disease (PD), potential genetic risk factors for mild parkinsonian signs have been largely unexplored. OBJECTIVE To determine whether PD susceptibility loci are associated with parkinsonism or substantia nigra pathology in a large community-based cohort of older persons. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Eighteen candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms from PD genome-wide association studies were evaluated in a joint clinicopathologic cohort. Participants included 1698 individuals and a nested autopsy collection of 821 brains from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project, 2 prospective community-based studies. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcomes were a quantitative measure of global parkinsonism or component measures of bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, and gait impairment that were based on the motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. In secondary analyses, we examined associations with additional quantitative motor traits and postmortem indices, including substantia nigra Lewy bodies and neuronal loss. RESULTS Parkinson disease risk alleles in the MAPT (rs2942168; P = .0006) and CCDC62 (rs12817488; P = .004) loci were associated with global parkinsonism, and these associations remained after exclusion of patients with a PD diagnosis. Based on motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale subscores, MAPT (P = .0002) and CCDC62 (P = .003) were predominantly associated with bradykinesia, and we further discovered associations between SREBF1 (rs11868035; P = .005) and gait impairment, SNCA (rs356220; P = .04) and rigidity, and GAK (rs1564282; P = .03) and tremor. In the autopsy cohort, only NMD3 (rs34016896; P = .03) was related to nigral neuronal loss, and no associations were detected with Lewy bodies. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In addition to the established link to PD susceptibility, our results support a broader role for several loci in the development of parkinsonian motor signs and nigral pathology in older persons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we systematically evaluated 67 candidate genes based on AD-associated genomic loci (p<10(-4)) from published human genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Genetic manipulation of 87 homologous fly genes was tested for modulation of neurotoxicity due to human Tau, which forms neurofibrillary tangle pathology in AD. RNA interference (RNAi) targeting 9 genes enhanced Tau neurotoxicity, and in most cases reciprocal activation of gene expression suppressed Tau toxicity. Our screen implicates cindr, the fly ortholog of the human CD2AP AD susceptibility gene, as a modulator of Tau-mediated disease mechanisms. Importantly, we also identify the fly orthologs of FERMT2 and CELF1 as Tau modifiers, and these loci have been independently validated as AD susceptibility loci in the latest GWAS meta-analysis. Both CD2AP and FERMT2 have been previously implicated with roles in cell adhesion, and our screen additionally identifies a fly homolog of the human integrin adhesion receptors, ITGAM and ITGA9, as a modifier of Tau neurotoxicity. Our results highlight cell adhesion pathways as important in Tau toxicity and AD susceptibility and demonstrate the power of model organism genetic screens for the functional follow-up of human GWAS.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE While numerous genetic susceptibility loci have been identified for clinical Alzheimer disease (AD), it is important to establish whether these variants are risk factors for the underlying disease pathology, including neuritic plaques. OBJECTIVES To investigate whether AD susceptibility loci from genome-wide association studies affect neuritic plaque pathology and to additionally identify novel risk loci for this trait. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Candidate analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms and genome-wide association study in a joint clinicopathologic cohort, including 725 deceased subjects from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project (2 prospective, community-based studies), followed by targeted validation in an independent neuroimaging cohort, including 114 subjects from multiple clinical and research centers. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES A quantitative measure of neuritic plaque pathologic burden, based on assessments of silver-stained tissue averaged from multiple brain regions. Validation based on β-amyloid load by immunocytochemistry, and replication with fibrillar β-amyloid positron emission tomographic imaging with Pittsburgh Compound B or florbetapir. RESULTS Besides the previously reported APOE and CR1 loci, we found that the ABCA7 (rs3764650; P = .02) and CD2AP (rs9349407; P = .03) AD susceptibility loci are associated with neuritic plaque burden. In addition, among the top results of our genome-wide association study, we discovered a novel variant near the amyloid precursor protein gene (APP, rs2829887) that is associated with neuritic plaques (P = 3.3 × 10-6). This polymorphism was associated with postmortem β-amyloid load as well as fibrillar β-amyloid in 2 independent cohorts of adults with normal cognition. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These findings enhance understanding of AD risk factors by relating validated susceptibility alleles to increased neuritic plaque pathology and implicate common genetic variation at the APP locus in the earliest, presymptomatic stages of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau, tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau), and Aβ42 are established biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and have been used as quantitative traits for genetic analyses. We performed the largest genome-wide association study for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau/ptau levels published to date (n = 1,269), identifying three genome-wide significant loci for CSF tau and ptau: rs9877502 (p = 4.89 × 10(-9) for tau) located at 3q28 between GEMC1 and OSTN, rs514716 (p = 1.07 × 10(-8) and p = 3.22 × 10(-9) for tau and ptau, respectively), located at 9p24.2 within GLIS3 and rs6922617 (p = 3.58 × 10(-8) for CSF ptau) at 6p21.1 within the TREM gene cluster, a region recently reported to harbor rare variants that increase AD risk. In independent data sets, rs9877502 showed a strong association with risk for AD, tangle pathology, and global cognitive decline (p = 2.67 × 10(-4), 0.039, 4.86 × 10(-5), respectively) illustrating how this endophenotype-based approach can be used to identify new AD risk loci.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Substantial interindividual variability exists in the disease trajectories of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Some decline rapidly whereas others decline slowly, and there are no known explanations for this variability. We describe the first genome-wide association study to examine rate of cognitive decline in a sample of AD patients with longitudinal measures of cognition. METHODS: The discovery sample was 303 AD cases recruited in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the replication sample was 323 AD cases from the Religious Orders Study and Rush Memory and Aging Project. In the discovery sample, Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale responses were tested for association with genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data using linear regression. We tested the 65 most significant SNPs from the discovery sample for association in the replication sample. RESULTS: We identified SNPs in the spondin 1 gene (SPON1), the minor alleles of which were significantly associated with a slower rate of decline (rs11023139, P = 7.0 × 10(-11)) in the discovery sample. A SPON1 SNP 5.5 kb upstream was associated with decline in the replication sample (rs11606345, P = .002). CONCLUSION: SPON1 has not been previously associated with AD risk, but it is plausibly related because the gene product binds to the amyloid precursor protein and inhibits its cleavage by β-secretase. These data suggest that SPON1 may be associated with the differential rate of cognitive decline in AD.
Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 03/2013; · 14.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Depression is a heritable trait that exists on a continuum of varying severity and duration. Yet, the search for genetic variants associated with depression has had few successes. We exploit the entire continuum of depression to find common variants for depressive symptoms. METHODS: In this genome-wide association study, we combined the results of 17 population-based studies assessing depressive symptoms with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Replication of the independent top hits (p<1×10(-5)) was performed in five studies assessing depressive symptoms with other instruments. In addition, we performed a combined meta-analysis of all 22 discovery and replication studies. RESULTS: The discovery sample comprised 34,549 individuals (mean age of 66.5) and no loci reached genome-wide significance (lowest p = 1.05×10(-7)). Seven independent single nucleotide polymorphisms were considered for replication. In the replication set (n = 16,709), we found suggestive association of one single nucleotide polymorphism with depressive symptoms (rs161645, 5q21, p = 9.19×10(-3)). This 5q21 region reached genome-wide significance (p = 4.78×10(-8)) in the overall meta-analysis combining discovery and replication studies (n = 51,258). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that only a large sample comprising more than 50,000 subjects may be sufficiently powered to detect genes for depressive symptoms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Parkinson disease (PD), dopaminergic neuronal death within the substantia nigra generates characteristic motor manifestations, while synuclein pathology in cortical regions often causes additional symptoms, including cognitive impairment and dementia.(1) Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of PD pathogenesis requires the evaluation of cell death mechanisms both within the brainstem and extranigral sites. In the current issue of Neurology®, Jiang et al.(2) begin to reveal the potential molecular pathways responsible for cortical degeneration in PD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythms influence the timing of behavior, neurological diseases, and even death. Rare mutations in homologs of evolutionarily conserved clock genes are found in select pedigrees with extreme sleep timing, and there is suggestive evidence that certain common polymorphisms may be associated with self-reported day/night preference. However, no common polymorphism has been associated with the timing of directly observed human behavioral rhythms or other physiological markers of circadian timing at the population level.
We performed a candidate gene association study with replication, evaluating associations between polymorphisms in homologs of evolutionarily conserved clock genes and the timing of behavioral rhythms measured by actigraphy. For validated polymorphisms, we evaluated associations with transcript expression and time of death in additional cohorts.
rs7221412, a common polymorphism near period homolog 1 (PER1), was associated with the timing of activity rhythms in both the discovery and replication cohorts (joint p = 2.1 × 10(-7) ). Mean activity timing was delayed by 67 minutes in rs7221412(GG) versus rs7221412(AA) homozygotes. rs7221412 also showed a suggestive time-dependent relationship with both cerebral cortex (p = 0.05) and CD14(+) CD16(-) monocyte (p = 0.02) PER1 expression and an interesting association with time of death (p = 0.015) in which rs7221412(GG) individuals had a mean time of death nearly 7 hours later than rs7221412(AA/AG) .
A common polymorphism near PER1 is associated with the timing of human behavioral rhythms, and shows evidence of association with time of death. This may be mediated by differential PER1 expression. These results may facilitate individualized scheduling of shift work, medical treatments, or monitoring of vulnerable patient populations. ANN NEUROL 2012;72:324-334.
Annals of Neurology 09/2012; 72(3):324-34. · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aging is associated with reductions in hippocampal volume that are accelerated by Alzheimer's disease and vascular risk factors. Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) of dementia-free persons (n = 9,232) identified 46 SNPs at four loci with P values of <4.0 × 10(-7). In two additional samples (n = 2,318), associations were replicated at 12q14 within MSRB3-WIF1 (discovery and replication; rs17178006; P = 5.3 × 10(-11)) and at 12q24 near HRK-FBXW8 (rs7294919; P = 2.9 × 10(-11)). Remaining associations included one SNP at 2q24 within DPP4 (rs6741949; P = 2.9 × 10(-7)) and nine SNPs at 9p33 within ASTN2 (rs7852872; P = 1.0 × 10(-7)); along with the chromosome 12 associations, these loci were also associated with hippocampal volume (P < 0.05) in a third younger, more heterogeneous sample (n = 7,794). The SNP in ASTN2 also showed suggestive association with decline in cognition in a largely independent sample (n = 1,563). These associations implicate genes related to apoptosis (HRK), development (WIF1), oxidative stress (MSR3B), ubiquitination (FBXW8) and neuronal migration (ASTN2), as well as enzymes targeted by new diabetes medications (DPP4), indicating new genetic influences on hippocampal size and possibly the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent genome-wide association studies have identified a number of susceptibility loci for Alzheimer disease (AD). To understand the functional consequences and potential interactions of the associated loci, we explored large-scale data sets interrogating the human genome for evidence of positive natural selection. Our findings provide significant evidence for signatures of recent positive selection acting on several haplotypes carrying AD susceptibility alleles; interestingly, the genes found in these selected haplotypes can be assembled, independently, into a molecular complex via a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network approach. These results suggest a possible coevolution of genes encoding physically-interacting proteins that underlie AD susceptibility and are coexpressed in different tissues. In particular, PICALM, BIN1, CD2AP, and EPHA1 are interconnected through multiple interacting proteins and appear to have coordinated evidence of selection in the same human population, suggesting that they may be involved in the execution of a shared molecular function. This observation may be AD-specific, as the 12 loci associated with Parkinson disease do not demonstrate excess evidence of natural selection. The context for selection is probably unrelated to AD itself; it is likely that these genes interact in another context, such as in immune cells, where we observe cis-regulatory effects at several of the selected AD loci.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 04/2012; 90(4):720-6. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complement receptor 1 (CR1) is an Alzheimer's disease (AD) susceptibility locus that also influences AD-related traits such as episodic memory decline and neuritic amyloid plaque deposition. We implemented a functional fine-mapping approach, leveraging intermediate phenotypes to identify functional variant(s) within the CR1 locus. Using 1709 subjects (697 deceased) from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project, we tested 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the linkage disequilibrium block containing the published CR1 AD SNP (rs6656401) for associations with episodic memory decline, and then examined the functional consequences of the top result. We report that a coding variant in the LHR-D (long homologous repeat D) region of the CR1 gene, rs4844609 (Ser1610Thr, minor allele frequency = 0.02), is associated with episodic memory decline and accounts for the known effect of the index SNP rs6656401 (D' = 1, r(2)= 0.084) on this trait. Further, we demonstrate that the coding variant's effect is largely dependent on an interaction with APOE-ε4 and mediated by an increased burden of AD-related neuropathology. Finally, in our data, this coding variant is also associated with AD susceptibility (joint odds ratio = 1.4). Taken together, our analyses identify a CR1 coding variant that influences episodic memory decline; it is a variant known to alter the conformation of CR1 and points to LHR-D as the functional domain within the CR1 protein that mediates the effect on memory decline. We thus implicate C1q and MBL, which bind to LHR-D, as likely targets of the variant's effect and suggest that CR1 may be an important intermediate in the clearance of Aβ42 particles by C1q.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2012; 21(10):2377-88. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motor symptoms such as mild parkinsonian signs are common in older persons, but little is known about their underlying neuropathology. We tested the hypothesis that nigral pathology is related to parkinsonism in older persons without Parkinson disease (PD).
More than 2,500 persons participating in the Religious Orders Study or the Memory and Aging Project agreed to annual assessment of parkinsonism with a modified version of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale and brain donation. Brains from 744 deceased participants without PD were assessed for nigral neuronal loss and α-synuclein immunopositive Lewy bodies.
Mean age at death was 88.5 years. Mean global parkinsonism was 18.6 (standard deviation, 11.90). About ⅓ of cases had mild or more severe nigral neuronal loss, and about 17% had Lewy bodies. In separate regression models that adjusted for age, sex, and education, nigral neuronal loss and Lewy bodies were both related to global parkinsonism (neuronal loss: estimate, 0.231; standard error [SE], 0.068; p < 0.001; Lewy bodies: estimate, 0.291; SE, 0.133; p = 0.029). Employing a similar regression model that included both measures, neuronal loss remained associated with global parkinsonism (neuronal loss: estimate, 0.206; SE, 0.075; p = 0.006). By contrast, the association between Lewy bodies and global parkinsonism was attenuated by >60% and was no longer significant (Lewy bodies: estimate, 0.112; SE, 0.148; p = 0.447), suggesting that neuronal loss may mediate the association of Lewy bodies with global parkinsonism.
Nigral pathology is common in persons without PD and may contribute to loss of motor function in old age.
Annals of Neurology 02/2012; 71(2):258-66. · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulated evidence suggests that a variant within the CR1 gene (single nucleotide polymorphism rs6656401), known to increase risk for Alzheimer disease (AD), influences β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in brain tissue. Given the biologic overlap between AD and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a leading cause of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in elderly individuals, we investigated whether rs6656401 increases the risk of CAA-related ICH and influences vascular Aβ deposition.
We performed a case-control genetic association study of 89 individuals with CAA-related ICH and 280 individuals with ICH unrelated to CAA and compared them with 324 ICH-free control subjects. We also investigated the effect of rs6656401 on risk of recurrent CAA-ICH in a prospective longitudinal cohort of ICH survivors. Finally, association with severity of histopathologic CAA was investigated in 544 autopsy specimens from 2 longitudinal studies of aging.
rs6656401 was associated with CAA-ICH (odds ratio [OR] = 1.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.19-2.17, p = 8.0 × 10(-4)) as well as with risk of recurrent CAA-ICH (hazard ratio = 1.35, 95% CI 1.04-1.76, p = 0.024). Genotype at rs6656401 was also associated with severity of CAA pathology at autopsy (OR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.05-1.71, p = 0.009). Adjustment for parenchymal amyloid burden did not cancel this effect, suggesting that, despite the correlation between parenchymal and vascular amyloid pathology, CR1 acts independently on both processes, thus increasing risk of both AD and CAA.
The CR1 variant rs6656401 influences risk and recurrence of CAA-ICH, as well as the severity of vascular amyloid deposition.