An autosomal genomic screen for dementia in an extended Amish family

A. E. Ashley-Koch, Y. Shao, J. B. Rimmler, P. C. Gaskell, K. A. Welsh-Bohmer, C. E. Jackson, W. K. Scott, J. L. Haines, M. A. Pericak-Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is the only universally confirmed susceptibility gene for late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD), although many loci are believed to modulate LOAD risk. The genetic homogeneity of isolated populations, such as the Amish, potentially provide increased power to identify LOAD susceptibility genes. Population homogeneity in these special populations may reduce the total number of susceptibility genes contributing to the complex disorder, thereby increasing the ability to identify any one susceptibility gene. Dementia in the Amish is clinically indistinguishable from LOAD in the general population. Previous studies in the Amish demonstrated a significantly decreased frequency of the APOE-4 susceptibility allele, but significant familial clustering of dementia [M.A. Pericak-Vance, C.C. Johnson, J.B. Rimmler, A.M. Saunders, L.C. Robinson, E.G. D'Hondt, C.E. Jackson, J.L. Haines, Alzheimer's disease and apolipoprotein E-4 allele in an Amish population, Ann. Neurol. 39 (1996) 700-704]. These data suggested that a genetic etiology independent of APOE may underlie the dementia observed in this population. In the present analysis, we focused on a large, multiplex, inbred Amish family (24 sampled individuals; 10 of whom are affected). We completed a genomic screen to identify novel LOAD loci (n = 316 genetic markers), using both model-dependent "affecteds- only" analysis (dominant and recessive) and model-independent affected relative pair analysis. Interesting results (lod > 1.5 or p < 0.01) were obtained for markers on eight chromosomes (2q, 5q, 6q, 7p, 8p, 8q, 11p, 18p, 18q, and 19q). The highest overall score was a multipoint lod score of 3.1 on chromosome 11p. Most regions we identified were not previously detected by genomic screens of outbred populations and may represent population-specific susceptibilities to LOAD. These loci are currently under further investigation in a study of LOAD including additional Amish families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 13 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Complex disease
  • Genome screen
  • Isolated population
  • Linkage analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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