Jeffery Vance, MD, PhD: Role of Genetics in Distinguishing Alzheimer Risk
The professor of neurology and founding chair of the John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics at the University of Miami spoke about how the risk of Alzheimer disease differs between ethnic groups, despite being associated with the same genetic marker.
By: Jeffery Vance, MD, PhD
Published: July 16, 2019
“It really matters where that apoE4 came from, you could have an apoE4 that’s not really much risk to you, relatively, so this a good example of how precision medicine is beginning to come into this effect.”
At the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in Los Angeles, California, July 14–18, Jeffery Vance, MD, PhD, of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami, spoke with NeurologyLive in an interview to discuss the role of genetics, specifically APOE4 allele, in distinguishing Alzheimer disease risk.
Vance explains that while the gene may be the same, the risk of developing Alzheimer disease varies between ethnic groups because the regulatory mechanism is different, which makes up 98% of the chromosome.
When enrolling patients in clinical trials, researchers need to recognize that if the APOE4 allele is present, not everyone is going to be the same. Vance emphasized that as clinical trials expand to include other diversities, that factor needs to be taken into account.