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Boston University researchers receive NIH funding for genetic research in Alzheimer's disease
Date:7/8/2014

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) received major funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as part of a national effort to identify rare genetic variants that may protect against and contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk.

The four-year, $3 million grant, "Identifying Risk and Protective Variants for AD Exploring their Significance and Biology" is led by Sudha Seshadri, MD, professor of neurology at BUSM and a Senior Investigator at the Framingham Heart Study and for the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium. This project is linked to CHARGE projects at two other universities which all together received grants totaling more than $10 million. Other BU investigators who are part of the CHARGE project are Anita DeStefano, PhD, Adrienne Cupples, PhD, and Josee Dupuis, PhD, who are professors of biostatistics, and Honghuang Lin, PhD, assistant professor of medicine.

"As a neurologist treating patients with Alzheimer's disease, it is very exciting to see the increased recognition, at a national level, of the need to find more effective preventive and therapeutic measures," said Seshadri.

Alzheimer's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, has become an epidemic that currently affects 5.2 million people in the United States with economic costs that are higher than those of heart disease or cancer. Available drugs only marginally affect disease severity and progression. While there is no way to prevent this devastating disease, the discovery of genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's is bringing researchers closer to learning how the genes work together and to identifying the most effective intervention for the disease.

Genetics is a cornerstone of identifying targets for Alzheimer's disease therapies. This movement began in 2011, when President Barack Obama signed into law the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA), mandating support for Alzheimer's research and
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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