Genetic Test Can Tell Age A Person Is Likely To Develop Alzheimer’s

Genetic Test Can Tell Age A Person Is Likely To Develop Alzheimer’s.

Late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, places a large emotional and economic burden on patients and society. With increasing health care expenditures among cognitively impaired elderly individuals, identifying individuals at risk for developing AD is of utmost importance for potential preventative and therapeutic strategies. Inheritance of the ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE) on Chromosome 19q13 is the most significant risk factor for developing late-onset AD. APOE ε4 has a dose-dependent effect on age of onset, increases AD risk 3-fold in heterozygotes and 15-fold in homozygotes, and is implicated in 20%–25% of AD cases. Although genetic studies have identified AD-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE) and other genes, genetic information has not been integrated into an epidemiological framework for risk prediction. Across the United States, late-onset AD is the most common form of dementia. There is a strong need for in vivo markers for AD risk stratification and cohort enrichment in therapeutic trials. Rahul Desikan (University of California San Francisco), Chun Chieh Fan (University of California San Diego) and their team have developed a polygenic hazard score (PHS) for quantifying individual differences in age-specific genetic risk for AD. Within the 70,000 AD cohorts studied, polygenic architecture plays an important role in modifying AD risk beyond APOE. With thorough validation, quantification of inherited genetic variation may prove useful for stratifying AD risk and as an enrichment strategy in therapeutic trials. Credit: PLOS Medicine.

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