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2011 Grants - Kauwe
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Rate of Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
John S. K. Kauwe, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University
2011 Mentored New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity
Scientists have long thought that genetic and environmental factors interact to influence a person's biological makeup, including the predisposition to different diseases. The expression of genes can be affected — positively and negatively — by environmental factors, such as exercise and diet.
John S. K. Kauwe, Ph.D., and colleagues aim to discover genetic factors that are associated with the rate of progression of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, and identify how they interact with known environmental influences that determine overall variation in rate of progression. The research team will generate data from the Cache County Study on Memory and Aging to test hundreds of thousands of genetic variants for correlation with differences in the rate of progression of Alzheimer's disease. These findings will be cross-validated with data from the Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer's Disease Consortium and Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium. The most important genetic variants identified will be evaluated for interaction with environmental factors that are known to affect rate of progression of Alzheimer's disease, such as caregiver closeness and vascular risk factors.
This research will move us toward a more comprehensive understanding of Alzheimer's disease progression, providing important insights into methods to slow or stop disease progression.