Population Studies and Genetics Branch
The Population Studies and Genetics Branch fosters research aimed at understanding the contributions of population and genetics studies in brain aging and neurodegeneration among diverse populations in the U.S. and globally. The Population Studies portfolio embraces research that examines the trajectory of cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD). This may include direct measurements of morbidity levels in general populations and race/ethnic subpopulations; and identification of potential risk and protective factors through longitudinal studies using biospecimens (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, central nervous system tissues), neuroimaging, and medical history data to better understand the etiology of MCI/AD/ADRD. The Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease portfolio is aimed at the discovery of therapeutic targets for AD by identification of regions in the genome conferring risk or protection and associated molecular pathways with clear links to the etiology of disease. Research focuses on discovery of novel genomic elements and their functional roles driving heterogeneity and pathogenesis of AD and aims to fully reveal the genetic architecture of AD/ADRD in multiple ethnic groups. Studies include assessment of genetic contribution/impact on disease progression and why some individuals who have risk factors escape AD. A major effort to harmonize phenotypic data across cohorts that are in the genetics portfolio is underway. The portfolio includes genome analysis by machine learning and functional genomics to delineate causal genetic variants and related biological mechanisms.
Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease
Learn more about the NIA Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Portfolio.