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Federal Grant To Help University Of Pittsburgh Pinpoint Possible Genetic Differences In Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease

PITTSBURGH, December 23, 2002 — The University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) have received a National Institutes of Health grant that may allow researchers to determine whether there are genetic differences in people’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The $807,000 grant will fund continuation of an existing study that is examining how several genes and their mutations may affect the risk of late-onset (60 years or older) AD.

“In this larger, case-control study, we will evaluate the link between these mutations and the risk of AD to determine whether there is indeed a genetically specific predisposition to AD,” said principal investigator M. Ilyas Kamboh, Ph.D., professor of human genetics and psychiatry, GSPH.

Co-principal investigator Steven T. DeKosky, M.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh ADRC and chair, department of neurology, added, “In this next phase of our research, we also hope to localize susceptibility genes in the critical regions of the brain that are important for memory.”

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