Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have changed the landscape of genetic analysis by enabling the systematic identification of loci which influence the risk of neurological disease. Recent GWA studies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) have identified a number of risk loci associated with either known or novel biochemical pathways that can contribute to disease pathogenesis. On April 20-21, 2011, NINDS convened a workshop that brought together an international group of geneticists, as well as representatives from other NIH institutes, non-government organizations, and industry to review the current state of GWA studies for adult onset neurodegenerative diseases. The goals of the workshop included: 1) coordination of an international meta-analysis of current PD GWAS datasets; 2) review of the current status and future plans for other adult onset neurodegenerative diseases where primary GWA datasets are currently available; and 3) discussion of the feasibility and content of a customized DNA chip platform that could be utilized across these diseases and in replication GWA studies for other adult onset neurological diseases. The coordination of genetic efforts across a broad spectrum of adult onset neurodegenerative diseases through use of a common customized genetic platform designed to provide content capacity for both current and future genetic studies will facilitate genotyping and data sharing in a cost effective manner.
Margaret Sutherland, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders
Phone: (301) 496-5680
Last updated March 20, 2013