Finding Genetic Variants for Ageing-Related Measures using GWAS - Genome-wide Association Studies

image - GWAS 0
Project Main Description: 

Most complex traits, such as blood protein levels and memory performance, have a genetic component and many genes are thought to be involved.  In genome-wide association studies, known as GWAS, we test whether hundreds of thousands of genetic variants are associated with a measure of interest, such as blood protein levels.  These studies are undertaken within CHeBA, with other national and international studies and in collaboration with international consortia.

Image above: Genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for plasma apolipoprotein H levels.  Each genetic variant examined is shown as a coloured circle.  The most promising genetic variants are located above the dashed horizontal line.

Aims: 

To identify genetic variants associated with a variety of measures, such as blood protein levels and age-related cognitive performance and decline.

Design and Method: 

Genetic variants were genotyped using genome-wide genotyping arrays in participants from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (n~925) and the Older Australian Twins Study (n~539). Statistical tests are undertaken to find genetic variants associated with many different age-related outcomes (genome-wide association studies) including cognitive tests, white matter lesions, hippocampal volume, other brain structures and plasma protein levels.

Findings: 

Results suggest several genetic variants that may be associated with these measures. For example, the results of a genome-wide association study for blood apolipoprotein H levels are shown (Figure 1) using participants from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study and the Older Australian Twins Study. These results were replicated in an independent cohort.  This exciting work continues, seeking to better understand how genetics influences different age-related measures in our cohorts of older adults.

image - Finding Genetic Variants for Ageing-Related Measures using GWAS - Genome-wide Association Studies

Figure 1:  Genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for plasma apolipoprotein H levels.  Each genetic variant examined is shown as a coloured circle.  The most promising genetic variants are located above the dashed horizontal line.

Project Status: 
Current
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