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The interplay of DNA regulatory elements and epigenetics in Alzheimer’s disease

Principal Investigator:
  • Viviane Labrie, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Alzheimer Society of Canada

Project Overview

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a severely disabling illness with biological causes that are not well understood. Abnormalities in gene function impacts brain activities and could cause AD. Enhancers are elements in the DNA code that enable the complex expression of genes. Epigenetic marks control enhancers, which in turn creates specific patterns of gene expression in cells. We will test whether abnormal control of enhancers is involved in AD. Dr. Labrie and her team will complete the most detailed analysis to date of epigenetic marks at enhancers throughout the genome. They will examine specific brain areas and cell types, which is important for accurate and sensitive detection. By using sophisticated DNA mapping approaches, they will identify disease-associated enhancers and the genes they affect. This project will provide a greater understanding of the biological origin of AD. By uncovering new disease pathways, this research will create avenues for the development of improved AD treatments.