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Integration of genetics, epigenetics and proteomics to predict Alzheimer’s disease

Dr Riccardo Marioni wins Alzheimer’s Society award to study genetic and proteomic predictors of Alzheimer's disease. April 21

Image of a human brain with a representation of DNA in the background

The prediction of cognitive decline and dementia years prior to onset is a major goal for biomedical research. The successful award to Dr Riccardo Marioni, working with Dr Catalina Vellejos (MRC HGU) and Professor Matthew Robinson (IST, Vienna), seeks to address this challenge.  Using data from the large population-based cohort Generation Scotland, together with novel omics technologies and statistical and machine learning methodology, the team want to identify:

  1. The genes that underlie Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
  2. The pathways and mechanisms that are disrupted during disease pathogenesis
  3. How modifiable risk factors modulate disease risk
  4. How to stratify individuals into risk groups for precision medicine applications and clinical trials.

The long term aim of the project is to develop an accurate way to predict dementia from blood samples.

The Generation Scotland cohort includes over 20,000 individuals from across Scotland, aged between 18 and 99. It will allow the research team access to GP, hospital, and prescription records enabling them to identify those who went on to develop dementia. By studying individuals across their life course, they will be able to cross-reference signatures from older age with those from mid-life when the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease first appear.

 

Given the lack of success with clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease, it is essential that we identify those at greatest risk as early as possible to enhance the chances of future studies on individuals prior to a dementia diagnosis

Dr Riccardo Marioni

 

Links

Marioni Group website

Generation Scotland website

Alzheimer's Society