Researcher gets $600K to study genetic risk of Alzheimer’s

Dr. Yun Freudenberg-HuaLong Island Business News – August 14, 2017

A Long Island-based researcher has been awarded a five-year, $600,000 grant to study how genetic risk impacts Alzheimer’s disease.

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Assistant Professor Dr. Yun Freudenberg-Hua was awarded the grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging.

Northwell Health in a written statement said “better understanding of the genetic causes of the disease” could help develop treatments for the condition and interventions for those at risk.

“Though we have identified common genetic risk variants associated with Alzheimer’s disease, most of the inherited risk factors remain unexplained,” Dr. Freudenberg-Hua said.

She hopes to use the grant “to expand upon the preliminary work supported by Dr. Peter Davies and the Feinberg Initiative” and to identify rare genetic risk variants that explain why some people develop Alzheimer’s disease and others do not.

“This project may allow us to identify biological pathways that can provide new treatment opportunities based on a patient’s specific genetic makeup,” she added.

The research team will examine the genes of patients with Alzheimer’s and those of healthy individuals who are 100 or older.

Healthy centenarians are ideal “super-controls” for the study, Freudenberg-Hua said, since healthy individuals the same age as typical Alzheimer’s patients may still develop the disease at a later age.

“Federal support for this important peer-reviewed research is a crucial step towards filling an existing knowledge-gap,” Dr. Kevin Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute, said in a written statement.