The Alzheimer’s Genome Project™ (AGP)—launched by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund—was the first large-scale, family-based study of the human genome specific to Alzheimer’s disease. The project screened DNA from over 400 Alzheimer’s families and searched for genes that might increase risk for, or offer protection against, the disease. This was the first study to report novel Alzheimer’s genes that reached statistical significance—the first phase of this study identified more than 100 candidate genes. The Alzheimer’s Genome Project™ was listed in TIME’s Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2008. It provided the foundation for other major genetic studies spearheaded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, such as Whole Genome Sequencing and the Genes to Therapies program. Together, these studies are helping to complete the picture of the many genetic factors contributing to Alzheimer’s disease, and are highlighting genes as candidates for intervention with therapeutics.
Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital