Katrina Celis, MD: Genetics and Their Role in Alzheimer Research, Clinical Care

August 12, 2020

The postdoctoral fellow at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine detailed the role that increased APOE ε4 expression can have on future research and clinical care.

“Our study emphasizes that the inclusion of diversity populations in genetic research is essential, not only for AD, but for many other diseases as well.”

A study presented at the 2020 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) by Katrina Celis, MD, uncovered further information about the APOE ε4 allele, suggesting there is an increased risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) in non-Hispanic Whites compared to African Americans because of the increased APOE ε4 expression in carriers with the European local genomic ancestry.

Furthermore, Celis and colleagues found that the increased APOE ε4 expression is strongly associated with a large increase in potentially reactive A1 astrocytes, supporting the theory for an increased risk of AD. Celis, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, claimed that although the results of the study are preliminary they do carry weight for future studies. Now that it is proven that genomic ancestry can play a role in AD risk, the attention turns to research populations and clinical care.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Celis detailed how her findings may impact patient populations within AD research, and whether or not her data can have immediate effect on clinical care.