A research consortium comprising four academic institutions in the U.S. and Europe has been established to discover and map the genetic basis of Alzheimer disease (AD). The first phase of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) will involve evaluating and comparing genetic data from over 20,000 people with AD and 20,000 healthy elderly subjects. As the project progresses another 10,000 AD patients and the same number of healthy controls will be added.
The formation of IGAP is being supported by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Foundation Plan Alzheimer. The consortium’s members include: The European Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (EADI) in France, led by researchers at the Institute Pasteur de Lille and Lille University; The Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC) led by researchers at the Unvieristy of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; The Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer’s Disease (GERAD) group, led by researchers at Cardiff University (U.K.); and The neurology subgroup of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE), which is led by a team at Boston University.
The participants hope that pooling their combined resources will help speed the process of defining all the genetic factors involved in AD. “Our first efforts will be to bring together all the data from the different groups so that they can be analyzed,” comments Philippe Amouyel, M.D., who is heading the EADI group. “The next step will be to perform new analysis on subjects not yet in any genetic studies to further increase the number of people in our studies and to increase the ability to detect new genes.”