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$7 million aimed at illuminating the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease

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As people age, it can be hard to predict whether they will develop Alzheimer’s disease. With the exception of a few people with strong family histories of the disease, doctors don’t know who will develop Alzheimer’s, at what age or how quickly it will progress.

Two new studies led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis aim to clarify the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer’s, a disease characterized by memory loss and cognitive decline. By studying the DNA of thousands of people, the researchers seek to identify genetic factors that raise or lower the risk of developing the disease. They also intend to find and characterize markers of the disease in the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and identify new treatments.

The studies are funded by two grants totaling $7 million from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and led by Carlos Cruchaga, an associate professor of psychiatry and of neurology at the School of Medicine.

Originally published by the School of Medicine

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