Large studies of twins have shown that heritability for Alzheimer’s disease is high and that the same genetic factors are influential for both men and women. Other factors also play an important role and both genetic and non-genetic risk factors may be the focus for interventions to reduce disease or delay its onset.

In collaboration with multiple academic investigators, Celera has conducted gene-centric genome-wide association studies of hundreds of DNA samples from Alzheimer’s patients and controls and discovered novel associations with genes that are involved in memory and neuronal apoptosis. We plan to investigate the role of these variants in predicting the rate of disease progression in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and in evaluating the efficacy of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

We have shown that variants in certain genes are also associated with Parkinson’s disease and therefore may have a role in other CNS disorders as well.