Large multi-ethnic genetic analyses of amyloid imaging identify new genes for Alzheimer disease.

  • Ali M, Archer DB, Gorijala P, Western D, Timsina J, Fernández MV, Wang TC, Satizabal CL, Yang Q, Beiser AS, Wang R, Chen G, Gordon B, Benzinger TLS, Xiong C, Morris JC, Bateman RJ, Karch CM, McDade E, Goate A, Seshadri S, Mayeux RP, Sperling RA, Buckley RF, Johnson KA, Won HH, Jung SH, Kim HR, Seo SW, Kim HJ, Mormino E, Laws SM, Fan KH, Kamboh MI, Vemuri P, Ramanan VK, Yang HS, Wenzel A, Rajula HSR, Mishra A, Dufouil C, Debette S, Lopez OL, DeKosky ST, Tao F, Nagle MW, Hohman TJ, Sung YJ, Dumitrescu L, Cruchaga C. Large multi-ethnic genetic analyses of amyloid imaging identify new genes for Alzheimer disease. Acta neuropathologica communications. 2023 Apr 26;11(11). 68 p. PMID: 37101235 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC10134547


Amyloid PET imaging has been crucial for detecting the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits in the brain and to study Alzheimer's disease (AD). We performed a genome-wide association study on the largest collection of amyloid imaging data (N = 13,409) to date, across multiple ethnicities from multicenter cohorts to identify variants associated with brain amyloidosis and AD risk. We found a strong APOE signal on chr19q.13.32 (top SNP: APOE ɛ4; rs429358; β = 0.35, SE = 0.01, P = 6.2 × 10, MAF = 0.19), driven by APOE ɛ4, and five additional novel associations (APOE ε2/rs7412; rs73052335/rs5117, rs1081105, rs438811, and rs4420638) independent of APOE ɛ4. APOE ɛ4 and ε2 showed race specific effect with stronger association in Non-Hispanic Whites, with the lowest association in Asians. Besides the APOE, we also identified three other genome-wide loci: ABCA7 (rs12151021/chr19p.13.3; β = 0.07, SE = 0.01, P = 9.2 × 10, MAF = 0.32), CR1 (rs6656401/chr1q.32.2; β = 0.1, SE = 0.02, P = 2.4 × 10, MAF = 0.18) and FERMT2 locus (rs117834516/chr14q.22.1; β = 0.16, SE = 0.03, P = 1.1 × 10, MAF = 0.06) that all colocalized with AD risk. Sex-stratified analyses identified two novel female-specific signals on chr5p.14.1 (rs529007143, β = 0.79, SE = 0.14, P = 1.4 × 10, MAF = 0.006, sex-interaction P = 9.8 × 10) and chr11p.15.2 (rs192346166, β = 0.94, SE = 0.17, P = 3.7 × 10, MAF = 0.004, sex-interaction P = 1.3 × 10). We also demonstrated that the overall genetic architecture of brain amyloidosis overlaps with that of AD, Frontotemporal Dementia, stroke, and brain structure-related complex human traits. Overall, our results have important implications when estimating the individual risk to a population level, as race and sex will needed to be taken into account. This may affect participant selection for future clinical trials and therapies.