In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), we found an association between common haplotypes of the GAB2 gene and AD risk in carriers of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ?4 allele, the major late-onset AD susceptibility gene. We previously proposed the use of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) measurements as a quantitative pre-symptomatic endophenotype, more closely related to disease risk than the clinical syndrome itself, to help evaluate putative genetic and non-genetic modifiers of AD risk. In this study, we examined the relationship between the presence or absence of the relatively protective GAB2 haplotype and PET measurements of regional-to-whole brain FDG uptake in several AD-affected brain regions in 158 cognitively normal late-middle-aged APOE?4 homozygotes, heterozygotes, and non-carriers. GAB2 haplotypes were characterized using Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP 6.0 Array data from each of these subjects. As predicted, the possibly protective GAB2 haplotype was associated with higher regional-to-whole brain FDG uptake in AD-affected brain regions in APOE?4 carriers. While additional studies are needed, this study supports the association between the possibly protective GAB2 haplotype and the risk of late-onset AD in APOE?4 carriers. It also supports the use of brain-imaging endophenotypes to help assess possible modifiers of AD risk.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience