Alzheimer's disease genetics study

Since 2004 the Alzheimer’s disease research team at Cardiff University School of Medicine has been collecting blood samples and interviewing thousands of participants in the UK and abroad to try and understand more about how certain genes affect the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

So far, the research group headed by Professor Julie Williams has discovered 27 genes that contribute to increasing the risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s.  While we are beginning to understand more about how genes affect the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, there is still a great deal to learn about how these genes work.  We also know that it is likely that there are more genes to find, and we are particularly interested in understanding more about how genes cause and affect young onset Alzheimer’s disease.

To try and learn more about the genetic, environmental and biological factors that influence the onset and progression of young onset Alzheimer’s disease, we are inviting people who developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease before or at age 65 to help with our research.  Taking part involves a researcher visiting you and a close family member or friend to conduct an interview and memory test.  We would also ask you to donate a blood sample of 41mls (about 2 tablespoons) for the anonymous genetic testing.

While this study may not benefit you personally, studying genetics helps us to better understand the processes in the body that cause or influence Alzheimer’s disease.  We hope that this research will lead to new treatments and methods of diagnosis in the future.

Further information about the research project can be found here and on the Join Dementia Research website – just search for 'AD Genetics'.  If you have any questions or would like to express an interest in taking part, the research team would be delighted to hear from you via email ADresearch@Cardiff.ac.uk or telephone 02920 688042.

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