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AAIC 2022 | Is there a genetic basis for the rate of progression of Alzheimer’s disease?

Carlos Cruchaga, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, addresses the complexity of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and argues that all aspects of the disease must be analyzed in relation to the role of genetics, including onset and rate of progression. Most genetic studies have focused on risk, but understanding why some people show resilience or have a slow onset of AD while some progress more rapidly could help in understanding how to delay the disease. There are many new studies focusing on patients who display resilience to AD, for example, patients who are biomarker positive or carry risk genes but do not develop the disease. Studying resilience could help to discover potential protective mechanisms. Furthermore, the mechanisms underlying rate of progression of AD is currently unclear, however, researchers suggest that genetics could play a key role. By identifying the genetic variants and molecular changes associated with rate of memory decline, there could be potential for intervention and slowing the rate of AD progression. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.


CC has received research support from: Biogen, EISAI, Alector and Parabon. The funders of the study had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. CC is a member of the advisory board of Vivid genetics, Halia Therapeutics and ADx Healthcare.