Examination of the current top candidate genes for AD in a genome-wide association study.

T M Feulner, S M Laws, P Friedrich, S Wagenpfeil, S H R Wurst, C Riehle, K A Kuhn, M Krawczak, S Schreiber, S Nikolaus, H Förstl, A Kurz, M Riemenschneider
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Molecular psychiatry
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With the advent of technologies that allow simultaneous genotyping of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome, the genetic contributions to complex diseases can be explored at an unprecedented detail. This study is among the first to apply the genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach to Alzheimer disease (AD). We present our GWAS results from the German population for genes included in the ''Top Results'' list on the AlzGene database website. In addition to the apolipoprotein E locus, we identified nominally significant association signals in six of the ten genes investigated, albeit predominantly for SNPs other than those already published as being disease associated. Further, all of the four AD genes previously identified through GWAS also showed nominally significant association signals in our data. The results of our comparative study reinforce the necessity for replication and validation, not only of GWAS but also of candidate gene case-control studies, in different populations. Furthermore, cross-platform comparison of genotyping results can also identify new association signals. Finally, our data confirm that GWAS, regardless of the platform, are valuable for the identification of genetic variants associated with AD.