Molecular Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease

Research Goals

  • To identify novel risk gene variants associated with AD and to elucidate their effects on processes relevant for pathogenesis of AD. Risk variant correlations with established biomarker levels in the brain, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid samples of AD patients are applied.
  • To characterize the functional role of AD-related risk genes, pathways, and co-morbidities in AD pathogenesis using in vitro and in vivo disease models. The focus in these models is set to the factors that affect early synaptic dysfunction, function of glial cells as well as ß-amyloid and tau pathology.

Scientific and Societal Impact of Research

It is expected that the novel mechanistic insights and biomarker potential related to molecular targets, which contribute to the synaptic dysfunction in the early pathogenesis of AD will be discovered. This allows the development of novel intervention approaches aimed at slowing down the progression of AD as well as other neurodegenerative diseases involving similar mechanisms. It is also likely that potential AD-related early biomarker targets will be identified, which can be later evaluated in the early diagnosis and disease progression of AD.

Funding

Academy of Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, EADB-JPND, SynaNet H2020, PANA H2020, Neurocenter Finland, UEF Graduate School of Molecular Medicine, GenomMed-MSCA COFUND

Collaboration

Rudolph E. Tanzi (MGH/Harvard Medical School, USA), Jean-Charles Lambert (ISERM, France), Christian Haass (DZNE, Germany), Henrik Zetterberg (University of Gothenburg), Ian Pike (Proteome Science Ltd.), Juha Rinne (University of Turku/Turku PET Center), Annakaisa Haapasalo (UEF), Asla Pitkänen (UEF), Jussi Pihlajamäki (UEF), Heikki Tanila (UEF), Miia Kivipelto (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Ville Leinonen (UEF), Hilkka Soininen (UEF).  

Publications