Columbia University Study of Caribbean Hispanics and Late Onset Alzheimer's disease
Compared to Caucasians residing in the same community the incidence rate of Alzheimer's disease is approximately twice as high in Caribbean Hispanics. Moreover, Caribbean Hispanics represent a homogenous population with only a few founders. Replication of genetic associations in other ethnic groups provides supporting evidence that a putative gene is involved in the disease pathogenesis, and when different allelic variants within the same genes are associated with disease it can help to localize the pathogenic variant. SORL1 is an example of a candidate gene that was first identified in Hispanics and then confirmed in multiple ethnic and racial groups in a meta-analysis. For this project, we are genotyping 704 individuals in families multiply affected by Alzheimer's disease (166 families). These families were recruited in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In addition, we are genotyping 2491 individuals (960 patients with sporadic Alzheimer's disease and 1531 unrelated controls) phenotyped in a similar fashion totaling 3195 individuals. Both cohorts are followed at regular intervals of 18 to 24 months, and potential phenotypes available other than those related to Alzheimer's disease include body mass index, measured blood pressure, neurological history and examinations. More importantly, both studies are funded through 2014 and additional phenotypes could be added in successive waves. We propose a genome wide association (GWA) study of Alzheimer's disease and longitudinal changes in cognition and other age-related neurological and medical phenotypes. The goal will be to identify the chromosomal locations of genes underlying this disease and its related endophenotypes.