New Web-based Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Research Clearinghouse Launched

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First-of-its-Kind Online Resource ( Offers Researchers an
Extensive Database of Studies on the Genes Associated with Alzheimer’s Risk

Boston, MA — AlzGene, a web-based clearinghouse for researchers working to
unlock the genetic makeup of Alzheimer’s Disease, has been launched as a way to
gather and analyze studies by and for investigators around the world. The
project aims to bring clarity to the increasingly prolific and confusing field
of Alzheimer’s genetics research.

“As researchers feverishly work on mapping the genes linked to the risk of
Alzheimer’s disease, staying informed about what our peers are uncovering is
important, but increasingly challenging,” said Dr. Lars Bertram, the lead
researcher behind AlzGene. “Nearly a dozen relevant studies are being
published each month from research groups worldwide. This wealth of
information is becoming more and more difficult to follow, evaluate, and most
importantly, to interpret. We developed AlzGene to help.”

Dr. Bertram, assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and a
team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard School of
Public Health developed the AlzGene database ( in collaboration
with the Alzheimer Research Forum ( The database currently
includes nearly 1,000 different studies.

The goal of the AlzGene database is to provide an unbiased and regularly
updated collection of genetic association studies performed on Alzheimer’s
disease phenotypes. Only studies published in peer-reviewed journals available
in English are considered for inclusion. Researchers can post comments on the
all papers on the site. The site also contains a continuously updated list
displaying the genes most strongly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

After initial funding by others, AlzGene is now supported exclusively by the
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. The site is the first project of its kind for any of the
genetically complex diseases, like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and

“Gene research is critical to finding a breakthrough to slow, cure, or reverse
Alzheimer’s disease,” said Tim Armour, President of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
“The AlzGene site is a unique, innovative Internet resource for the research
community around the world to learn about, compare, and discuss the latest
findings on Alzheimer’s gene research.”

Dr. Bertram and his colleagues collected the genotype and key demographic data
from more than 1,000 studies and systematically summarized their findings [LB:
a little too much ‘key’ for me]. In addition to displaying this exhaustive
collection of all genetic association studies published in the field, AlzGene
also provides up-to-date meta-analyses on all genetic markers with published
genotype data available in three or more independent samples.

“The Alzgene database currently has nearly 180 such meta-analyses on markers
distributed over more than 90 different genes,” said Bertram. “One of the
latest additions was the discovery of SORL1, the newest gene to be associated
with late onset Alzheimer’s. We believe the site will continue to grow by leaps
and bounds and serve as the online genetics community for researchers working
to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.”

Cure Alzheimer’s FundTM is a public charity established to provide funding for
targeted research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
supports and funds research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping
or reversing Alzheimer’s disease by 2016. For more information please visit

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