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Polygenic risk scores in Alzheimer’s disease: current applications and future directions

Baker, Emily and Escott-Price, Valentina ORCID: 2020. Polygenic risk scores in Alzheimer’s disease: current applications and future directions. Frontiers in Digital Health: Personalized Medicine 2 (14) 10.3389/fdgth.2020.00014

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Genome-wide association studies have identified nearly 40 genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which are associated with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Due to the polygenicity of AD, polygenic risk scores (PRS) have shown high potential for AD risk prediction. PRSs have been shown to successfully discriminate between AD cases and controls achieving a prediction accuracy of up to 84% based on area under the receiver operating curve. The prediction accuracy in AD is higher compared with other complex genetic disorders. PRS can be restricted to SNPs which reside in biologically relevant gene-sets; the predictive value of these gene-sets in the general population is not as high as genome-wide PRS, but they may play an important role to identify mechanisms of disease development and inform biological experiments. Multiple methods are available to derive PRSs, such as selecting SNPs based on statistical evidence of association with the disease or using prior evidence for SNP selection. All methods have advantages, but PRS produced using different methodologies are often not comparable, and results should be interpreted with care. Similarly, this is true when PRS is based on different background populations. With the exponential growth in development of digital electronic devices it is easy to calculate an individual's disease risk using public databases. A major limitation for the utility of PRSs is that the risk score is sample and method dependent. Therefore, replicability and interpretability of PRS is an important issue. PRS can be used to determine the probability of developing disease which incorporates information about disease risk in the general population or in a specific AD risk group. It is essential to consult with genetic counselors to ensure genetic risk is communicated appropriately.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Frontiers
ISSN: 2673-253X
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 July 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 10:50

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