How Alzheimer’s risk genes drive the disease

Researchers will investigate how changes in DNA can affect the biology of the brain and the way it works.



In recent years huge progress has been made in identifying DNA changes that alter a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. What remains unclear, however, is exactly how these DNA changes affect the brain. This is what researchers in this study aim to find out.

This project illustrates a new dawn in genetic research into Alzheimer’s. It is through studies like this that researchers can start to translate genetic findings into treatment targets. Identifying the biological processes driving diseases like Alzheimer’s is vital to develop new preventions or treatments for those affected.

The team will use specialist techniques to search for changes in DNA known to be linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. Then they will look at how these changes may affect the levels of particular genes in two areas of the brain particularly vulnerable to damage in Alzheimer’s – the hippocampus and the temporal cortex.  By comparing levels of these genes in brain tissue donated by people with and without Alzheimer’s and studying what biological processes these genes control, the team hopes to improve our understanding of the biology of Alzheimer’s.

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Professor John Hardy

Awarded to
Prof John Hardy

University College London

Current Award

22 September 2014 - 21 September 2017

Full project name
Using genetic variability in whole transcriptome expression in the hippocampus and temporal cortex to understand the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's