Expanding Genetic Associations Between Races and Alzheimer Disease: Margaret Pericak-Vance, PhD


The director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami discussed non-APOE–related genetic correlations between different groups of individuals and Alzheimer disease. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"The key thing is to be able to identify people at high risk early because if you have a therapy or a prevention, you can get them on that before damage is done to the cells. It’s not just about finding a therapy. It’s about understanding the risk and when to intervene to make the most difference."

For years, Miami University’s Miller School of Medicine has dedicated efforts to understand racial and ethnic disparities of those with neurological diseases. Previous studies have shown that people differ genetically based on their ancestorial backgrounds when it comes to Alzheimer disease (AD) risk. The school’s latest initiative, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Aging, aims to create and expand the database of knowledge on the genetic differences of underrepresented African ancestry populations and Hispanic/Latinx groups.

This large-scale project is in coordination with other major universities, both in the US and internationally, with Margaret Pericak-Vance, PhD, as one of the primary investigators overseeing domestic sites. Pericak-Vance, director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Dr John T. Macdonald Foundation Professor of Human Genetics, Miller School of Medicine, has been a leader within the AD field, previously pioneering the use of novel disease gene mapping, which led to the identification of apolipoprotein E (APOE).

Aside from APOE, there are several genetic associations linked to AD. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Pericak-Vance provided insight on the correlations between ancestral backgrounds and AD risk, including other relevant non-APOE genes.

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