Year of grant:
Heilsa - Sjúkrakassagrunnurin
Defining the genetic etiology of Alzheimer’s disease in the Faroe Islands
Maria Skaalum Petersen
Deildin fyri Arbeiðs- og Almannaheilsu
Matthew Farrer, Sofus Joensen, Gunhild Waldemar, Beate Ritz, Súsanna Crooks, Noomi Gregersen, Ílegusavnið, Tórmoður Stórá
Grant from the FRC in DKK:
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), accounting for ~70% of the dementia cases, affects ~13% of the population at 65 years increasing to 45% by 85 years. Around 50.000 Danish citizens’ are affected by AD conferring substantial economic strain on the Danish health care systems and the burden of illness to patients, families, the health care system and society is substantial.
AD has a progressive course resulting in impairment of cognitive function accompanied with substantial medical expenses, loss of quality of life and increased mortality and morbidity. No treatment is available to stop or cure the disease. Thus there is an urgent need of more knowledge in AD, to promote a better understanding of the disease and development of treatments slowing, stopping or even preventing the progression of the disease. The reason for AD is unknown but may be caused by both genetic and environmental factors.
We propose to establish an Alzheimer’s Cohort with the aim to find genetic and environmental factors that influence the risk of AD in the Faroe Islands. We believe the Faroese population presents a unique opportunity to conduct such a study because of the geographical situation leading to homogeneous genetic background and presents a unique opportunity to more readily identify genetic and environmental factors involved in AD.
The specific aims of this project are:
1. Detailed genealogical investigation of patients with Alzheimer’s disease
2. Enrolment of patients with AD, incl.1st degree family members of selected familial patients 3. Identify genes influencing risk and/or susceptibility of AD in the Faroese population.