New GWAS paper on Alzheimer’s biomarkers

In collaboration with our long-standing collaborators at VIB Center for Molecular Neurology in Antwerp, Belgium, the LIGA team published a new paper on the role of genetics on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker levels. Here, the data for six different CSF biomarkers ascertained in the EMIF-AD and ADNI datasets (n~1000) were combined using a novel multivariate approach to derive components that were deemed more informative than analyzing biomarkers individually. Using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach, we then searched for genetic determinants of biomarker component variation and identified five loci to show very strong (i.e. genome-wide significant) association, including two novel signals. One of the novel loci highlighted the gene GRIN2D, which is part of an important neurotransmitter receptor and plays an important role in learning and memory. A wide range of additional analyses suggested that the novel computational approach developed by our group can improve our understanding of AD genetics and may contribute to precision medicine. The study was published in the renowned journal “Genome Medicine” in October 2023. See also the press release of University of Lübeck on this paper.