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Individual variation in immune responses are associated with protection from Alzheimer's Disease


Sep 29, 2020

Paper Title:

Immune response and endocytosis pathways are associated with the resilience against Alzheimer’s disease



Developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is influenced by multiple genetic variants that are involved in five major AD-pathways. Per individual, these pathways may differentially contribute to the modification of the AD-risk. The pathways involved in the resilience against AD have thus far been poorly addressed. Here, we investigated to what extent each molecular mechanism associates with (i) the increased risk of AD and (ii) the resilience against AD until extreme old age, by comparing pathway-specific polygenic risk scores (pathway-PRS). We used 29 genetic variants associated with AD to develop pathway-PRS for five major pathways involved in AD. We developed an integrative framework that allows multiple genes to associate with a variant, and multiple pathways to associate with a gene. We studied pathway-PRS in the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort of well-phenotyped AD patients (N = 1895), Dutch population controls from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (N = 1654) and our unique 100-plus Study cohort of cognitively healthy centenarians who avoided AD (N = 293). Last, we estimated the contribution of each pathway to the genetic risk of AD in the general population. All pathway-PRS significantly associated with increased AD-risk and (in the opposite direction) with resilience against AD (except for angiogenesis, p 

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