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Revolutionary project will obtain entire genome sequences in fight against Alzheimer's
Date:7/3/2012

Since 2004, UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) has been responsible for receiving, organizing, archiving and disseminating the stream of data generated by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), an ambitious, worldwide effort by scientists to define the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

That stream of data will now turn into a flood, as LONI partners with an ambitious publicprivate effort to dig deeper into the causes of this devastating disease by obtaining the whole-genome sequencing of the more than 800 people enrolled in ADNI the largest cohort of individuals related to a single disease.

This work is expected to generate at least 165 terabytes of new genetic data, an amount roughly equivalent to the information contained in 165,000 entire copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

"This effort, involving almost 60 sites around the country, is the best chance we have for understanding this brutal disease," said LONI director Arthur Toga, a UCLA professor of neurology and one of the collaborators on the management of the sequencing efforts. "We collect vast amounts of imaging, cognitive and biosample data from hundreds of subjects with Alzheimer's disease, those at risk, and controls. One of the more unique aspects of this study is that all data are shared with any scientist, without embargo. We have already engaged many scientists around the world with this open access."

The new genome project is a significant extension of ADNI, which now enrolls people with Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment and normal cognition who have agreed to be studied in great detail over time. The goal is to identify and understand markers of the disease with the hope of improving early diagnosis and accelerating the discovery of new treatments.

All of the ADNI data continues to flow into UCLA's LONI, including detailed, long-term assessments of neuropsychological measures, standardized structura
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Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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