[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although epidemiological studies suggest that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) increases the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the biological basis of this relationship is not well understood. The aim of this study was to examine the genetic comorbidity between the 2 disorders and to investigate whether genetic liability to T2DM, estimated by a genotype risk scores based on T2DM associated loci, is associated with increased risk of LOAD. This study was performed in 2 stages. In stage 1, we combined genotypes for the top 15 T2DM-associated polymorphisms drawn from approximately 3000 individuals (1349 cases and 1351 control subjects) with extracted and/or imputed data from 6 genome-wide studies (>10,000 individuals; 4507 cases, 2183 controls, 4989 population controls) to form a genotype risk score and examined if this was associated with increased LOAD risk in a combined meta-analysis. In stage 2, we investigated the association of LOAD with an expanded T2DM score made of 45 well-established variants drawn from the 6 genome-wide studies. Results were combined in a meta-analysis. Both stage 1 and stage 2 T2DM risk scores were not associated with LOAD risk (odds ratio = 0.988; 95% confidence interval, 0.972-1.004; p = 0.144 and odds ratio = 0.993; 95% confidence interval, 0.983-1.003; p = 0.149 per allele, respectively). Contrary to expectation, genotype risk scores based on established T2DM candidates were not associated with increased risk of LOAD. The observed epidemiological associations between T2DM and LOAD could therefore be a consequence of secondary disease processes, pleiotropic mechanisms, and/or common environmental risk factors. Future work should focus on well-characterized longitudinal cohorts with extensive phenotypic and genetic data relevant to both LOAD and T2DM.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Alzheimer’s disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer’s cases and 48,466 controls.
Principal Findings: In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected genome-wide significant loci on chromosomes 8 (TP53INP1, p=1.461026) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p=7.961028) which indexed novel susceptibility loci.
Significance: The additional genes identified in this study, have an array of functions previously implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, including aspects of energy metabolism, protein degradation and the immune system and add further weight to these pathways as potential therapeutic targets in Alzheimer’s disease
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e94661. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease-, age- and gender-associated changes in brain copper, iron and zinc were assessed in post-mortem neocortical tissue (Brodmann area 7) from patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (n=14), severe AD (n=28), dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) (n=15) and normal age-matched control subjects (n=26). Copper was lower (20%; P<0.001) and iron higher (10-16%; P<0.001) in severe AD compared with Control. Intriguingly significant Group*Age interactions were observed for both copper and iron, suggesting gradual age-associated decline of these metals in healthy non-cognitively impaired individuals. Zinc was unaffected in any disease pathologies and no age-associated changes were apparent. Age-associated changes in brain elements warrant further investigation.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 05/2014; · 4.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common and complex neurodegenerative disease in the elderly individuals. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been used to investigate AD pathogenesis. These GWAS have yielded important new insights into the genetic mechanisms of AD. However, these newly identified AD susceptibility loci exert only very small risk effects and cannot fully explain the underlying AD genetic risk. We hypothesize that combining the findings from different AD GWAS may have greater power than genetic analysis alone. To identify new AD risk factors, we integrated findings from 3 previous large-scale AD GWAS (n = 14,138) using a gene-based meta-analysis and subsequently conducted a pathway analysis using the kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes and gene ontology databases. Interestingly, we not only confirmed previous findings, but also highlighted, for the first time, the involvement of cardiovascular disease-related pathways in AD. Our results provided the clues as to the link between these diseases using pathway analysis methods. We believe that these findings will be very useful for future genetic studies of AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eleven susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) were identified by previous studies; however, a large portion of the genetic risk for this disease remains unexplained. We conducted a large, two-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry. In stage 1, we used genotyped and imputed data (7,055,881 SNPs) to perform meta-analysis on 4 previously published GWAS data sets consisting of 17,008 Alzheimer's disease cases and 37,154 controls. In stage 2, 11,632 SNPs were genotyped and tested for association in an independent set of 8,572 Alzheimer's disease cases and 11,312 controls. In addition to the APOE locus (encoding apolipoprotein E), 19 loci reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10(-8)) in the combined stage 1 and stage 2 analysis, of which 11 are newly associated with Alzheimer's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We undertook a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) involving over 16,000 individuals, the most powerful AD GWAS to date. In stage 1 (3,941 cases and 7,848 controls), we replicated the established association with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus (most significant SNP, rs2075650, P = 1.8 × 10−157) and observed genome-wide significant association with SNPs at two loci not previously associated with the disease: at the CLU (also known as APOJ) gene (rs11136000, P = 1.4 × 10−9) and 5′ to the PICALM gene (rs3851179, P = 1.9 × 10−8). These associations were replicated in stage 2 (2,023 cases and 2,340 controls), producing compelling evidence for association with Alzheimer's disease in the combined dataset (rs11136000, P = 8.5 × 10−10, odds ratio = 0.86; rs3851179, P = 1.3 × 10−9, odds ratio = 0.86).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need to improve upon Alzheimer's disease (AD) treatments. Limitations of existing drugs are that they target specific downstream neurochemical abnormalities while the upstream underlying pathology continues unchecked. Preferable treatments would be those that can target a number of the broad range of molecular and cellular abnormalities that occur in AD such as amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau-mediated damage, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction, as well more systemic abnormalities such as brain atrophy, impaired cerebral blood flow (CBF), and cerebrovascular disease. Recent pre-clinical, epidemiological, and a limited number of clinical investigations have shown that prevention of the signaling of the multifunctional and potent vasoconstrictor angiotensin II (Ang II) may offer broad benefits in AD. In addition to helping to ameliorate co-morbid hypertension, these drugs also likely improve diminished CBF which is common in AD and can contribute to focal Aβ pathology. These drugs, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor antagonists (ARAs) may also help deteriorating cognitive function by preventing Ang II-mediated inhibition of acetylcholine release as well as interrupt the upregulation of deleterious inflammatory pathways that are widely recognized in AD. Given the current urgency to find better treatments for AD and the relatively immediate availability of drugs that are already widely prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, one of the largest modifiable risk factors for AD, this article reviews current knowledge as to the eligibility of ACE-inhibitors and ARAs for consideration in future clinical trials in AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are both neurodegenerative disorders which share common pathological and biochemical features of the complement pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an association between well replicated AMD genetic risk factors and AD. A large cohort of AD (n = 3898) patients and controls were genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the complement factor H (CFH), the Age-related maculopathy susceptibility protein 2 (ARMS2) the complement component 2 (C2), the complement factor B (CFB), and the complement component 3 (C3) genes. While significant but modest associations were identified between the complement factor H, the age-related maculopathy susceptibility protein 2, and the complement component 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms and AD, these were different in direction or genetic model to that observed in AMD. In addition the multilocus genetic model that predicts around a half of the sibling risk for AMD does not predict risk for AD. Our study provides further support to the hypothesis that while activation of the alternative complement pathway is central to AMD pathogenesis, it is less involved in AD.
Neurobiology of aging 01/2012; 33(8):1843.e9-17. · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neprilysin (NEP), also known as membrane metalloendopeptidase (MME), is considered amongst the most important β-amyloid (Aβ)-degrading enzymes with regard to prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Variation in the NEP gene (MME) has been suggested as a risk factor for AD. We conducted a genetic association study of 7MME SNPs - rs1836914, rs989692, rs9827586, rs6797911, rs61760379, rs3736187, rs701109 - with respect to AD risk in a cohort of 1057 probable and confirmed AD cases and 424 age-matched non-demented controls from the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden. We also examined the association of these MME SNPs with NEP protein level and enzyme activity, and on biochemical measures of Aβ accumulation in frontal cortex - levels of total soluble Aβ, oligomeric Aβ(1-42), and guanidine-extractable (insoluble) Aβ - in a sub-group of AD and control cases with post-mortem brain tissue. On multivariate logistic regression analysis one of the MME variants (rs6797911) was associated with AD risk (P = 0.00052, Odds Ratio (O.R. = 1.40, 95% confidence interval (1.16-1.70)). None of the SNPs had any association with Aβ levels; however, rs9827586 was significantly associated with NEP protein level (p=0.014) and enzyme activity (p=0.006). Association was also found between rs701109 and NEP protein level (p=0.026) and a marginally non-significant association was found for rs989692 (p=0.055). These data suggest that MME variation may be associated with AD risk but we have not found evidence that this is mediated through modification of NEP protein level or activity.
International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics 01/2012; 3(1):30-8.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, and is expected to affect 115 million people worldwide by 2025. Existing treatments provide symptomatic benefit for up to 12 months but there are no licensed disease-modifying treatments and few ongoing clinical trials. The substantial economic and personal cost associated with AD highlights the urgency of developing new, effective, disease-modifying treatments. Drug repositioning is an attractive strategy for identifying new therapies for AD, with a substantial body of pre-clinical work indicating that drugs licensed for other indications have the potentially beneficial effects on Alzheimer pathology. For some drugs, the evidence is also supported by favourable epidemiological data or preliminary clinical trials. This review presents a systematic evaluation of drug candidates based on a systematic review of published literature and a formal expert consensus by academics, industry experts and people living with Alzheimer's disease. This evidence
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rare mutations in AβPP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 cause uncommon early onset forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and common variants in MAPT are associated with risk of other neurodegenerative disorders. We sought to establish whether common genetic variation in these genes confer risk to the common form of AD which occurs later in life (>65 years). We therefore tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms at these loci for association with late-onset AD (LOAD) in a large case-control sample consisting of 3,940 cases and 13,373 controls. Single-marker analysis did not identify any variants that reached genome-wide significance, a result which is supported by other recent genome-wide association studies. However, we did observe a significant association at the MAPT locus using a gene-wide approach (p = 0.009). We also observed suggestive association between AD and the marker rs9468, which defines the H1 haplotype, an extended haplotype that spans the MAPT gene and has previously been implicated in other neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration. In summary common variants at AβPP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 and MAPT are unlikely to make strong contributions to susceptibility for LOAD. However, the gene-wide effect observed at MAPT indicates a possible contribution to disease risk which requires further study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychotic symptoms occur in ∼40% of subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are associated with more rapid cognitive decline and increased functional deficits. They show heritability up to 61% and have been proposed as a marker for a disease subtype suitable for gene mapping efforts. We undertook a combined analysis of three genome-wide association studies (GWASs) to identify loci that (1) increase susceptibility to an AD and subsequent psychotic symptoms; or (2) modify risk of psychotic symptoms in the presence of neurodegeneration caused by AD. In all, 1299 AD cases with psychosis (AD+P), 735 AD cases without psychosis (AD-P) and 5659 controls were drawn from Genetic and Environmental Risk in AD Consortium 1 (GERAD1), the National Institute on Aging Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease (NIA-LOAD) family study and the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) GWASs. Unobserved genotypes were imputed to provide data on >1.8 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Analyses in each data set were completed comparing (1) AD+P to AD-P cases, and (2) AD+P cases with controls (GERAD1, ADRC only). Aside from the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus, the strongest evidence for association was observed in an intergenic region on chromosome 4 (rs753129; 'AD+PvAD-P' P=2.85 × 10(-7); 'AD+PvControls' P=1.11 × 10(-4)). SNPs upstream of SLC2A9 (rs6834555, P=3.0 × 10(-7)) and within VSNL1 (rs4038131, P=5.9 × 10(-7)) showed strongest evidence for association with AD+P when compared with controls. These findings warrant further investigation in larger, appropriately powered samples in which the presence of psychotic symptoms in AD has been well characterized.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 18 October 2011; doi:10.1038/mp.2011.125.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to investigate the contribution of extended runs of homozygosity in a genome-wide association dataset of 1,955 Alzheimer's disease cases and 955 elderly screened controls genotyped for 529,205 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms. Tracts of homozygosity may mark regions inherited from a common ancestor and could reflect disease loci if observed more frequently in cases than controls. We found no excess of homozygous tracts in Alzheimer's disease cases compared to controls and no individual run of homozygosity showed association to Alzheimer's disease.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 08/2011; 156B(7):764-71. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to identify new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer's disease through a staged association study (GERAD+) and by testing suggestive loci reported by the Alzheimer's Disease Genetic Consortium (ADGC) in a companion paper. We undertook a combined analysis of four genome-wide association datasets (stage 1) and identified ten newly associated variants with P ≤ 1 × 10(-5). We tested these variants for association in an independent sample (stage 2). Three SNPs at two loci replicated and showed evidence for association in a further sample (stage 3). Meta-analyses of all data provided compelling evidence that ABCA7 (rs3764650, meta P = 4.5 × 10(-17); including ADGC data, meta P = 5.0 × 10(-21)) and the MS4A gene cluster (rs610932, meta P = 1.8 × 10(-14); including ADGC data, meta P = 1.2 × 10(-16)) are new Alzheimer's disease susceptibility loci. We also found independent evidence for association for three loci reported by the ADGC, which, when combined, showed genome-wide significance: CD2AP (GERAD+, P = 8.0 × 10(-4); including ADGC data, meta P = 8.6 × 10(-9)), CD33 (GERAD+, P = 2.2 × 10(-4); including ADGC data, meta P = 1.6 × 10(-9)) and EPHA1 (GERAD+, P = 3.4 × 10(-4); including ADGC data, meta P = 6.0 × 10(-10)).