Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are part of a five-university collaboration receiving a $12.6 million, four-year grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify rare genetic variants that may either protect against, or contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk.
At Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, the Consortium for Alzheimer's Sequence Analysis (CASA) is led by Jonathan Haines, PhD, chair of the department of epidemiology & biostatistics and director of the Institute for Computational Biology. Fellow Case Western Reserve investigator is William Bush, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics.
CASA investigators will analyze whole exome and whole genome sequence data generated during the first phase of the NIH Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Program, an innovative collaboration that began in 2012 between NIA and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), also part of NIH. They will analyze data from 6,000 volunteers with Alzheimer's disease and 5,000 older individuals who do not have the disease. In addition, they will study genomic data from 111 large families with multiple members who have Alzheimer's disease, mostly of Caucasian and Caribbean Hispanic descent to identify rare genetic variants.
"Illuminating the hidden genetic architecture of Alzheimer's disease will help identify therapeutic targets, and reduce the economic and personal burdens this devastating disease inflicts," Haines said. "Combining the latest in DNA sequencing technologies and computational methods represents an exciting approach toward solving the riddle of this disease."
Alzheimer's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, has become an epidemic that currently affects as many as five million people age 65 and older in the United States, with economic costs that are comparable to, if not greater than, cari
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Case Western Reserve University