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  1. Abstract Background Large-scale genome-wide association studies have successfully identified many genetic variants significantly associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), such as rs429358, rs11038106, rs723804, rs13591776, and more. The next key step is to understand the function of these SNPs and the downstream biology through which they exert the effect on the development of AD. However, this remains a challenging task due to the tissue-specific nature of transcriptomic and proteomic data and the limited availability of brain tissue.In this paper, instead of using coupled transcriptomic data, we performed an integrative analysis of existing GWAS findings and expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) results from AD-related brain regions to estimate the transcriptomic alterations in AD brain. Results We used summary-based mendelian randomization method along with heterogeneity in dependent instruments method and were able to identify 32 genes with potential altered levels in temporal cortex region. Among these, 10 of them were further validated using real gene expression data collected from temporal cortex region, and 19 SNPs from NECTIN and TOMM40 genes were found associated with multiple temporal cortex imaging phenotype. Conclusion Significant pathways from enriched gene networks included neutrophil degranulation, Cell surface interactions at the vascular wall, and Regulation of TP53 activity which are still relatively under explored in Alzheimer’s Disease while also encouraging a necessity to bind further trans-eQTL effects into this integrative analysis. 
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  2. Abstract A large number of genetic variations have been identified to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related quantitative traits. However, majority of existing studies focused on single types of omics data, lacking the power of generating a community including multi-omic markers and their functional connections. Because of this, the immense value of multi-omics data on AD has attracted much attention. Leveraging genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data, and their backbone network through functional relations, we proposed a modularity-constrained logistic regression model to mine the association between disease status and a group of functionally connected multi-omic features, i.e. single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), genes and proteins. This new model was applied to the real data collected from the frontal cortex tissue in the Religious Orders Study and Memory and Aging Project cohort. Compared with other state-of-art methods, it provided overall the best prediction performance during cross-validation. This new method helped identify a group of densely connected SNPs, genes and proteins predictive of AD status. These SNPs are mostly expression quantitative trait loci in the frontal region. Brain-wide gene expression profile of these genes and proteins were highly correlated with the brain activation map of ‘vision’, a brain function partly controlled by frontal cortex. These genes and proteins were also found to be associated with the amyloid deposition, cortical volume and average thickness of frontal regions. Taken together, these results suggested a potential pathway underlying the development of AD from SNPs to gene expression, protein expression and ultimately brain functional and structural changes. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Kasuga, Kensaku (Ed.)
  5. Abstract

    Sex disparities in serum bile acid (BA) levels and Alzheimer's disease (AD) prevalence have been established. However, the precise link between changes in serum BAs and AD development remains elusive. Here, authors quantitatively determined 33 serum BAs and 58 BA features in 4 219 samples collected from 1 180 participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The findings revealed that these BA features exhibited significant correlations with clinical stages, encompassing cognitively normal (CN), early and late mild cognitive impairment, and AD, as well as cognitive performance. Importantly, these associations are more pronounced in men than women. Among participants with progressive disease stages (n = 660), BAs underwent early changes in men, occurring before AD. By incorporating BA features into diagnostic and predictive models, positive enhancements are achieved for all models. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve improved from 0.78 to 0.91 for men and from 0.76 to 0.83 for women for the differentiation of CN and AD. Additionally, the key findings are validated in a subset of participants (n = 578) with cerebrospinal fluid amyloid‐beta and tau levels. These findings underscore the role of BAs in AD progression, offering potential improvements in the accuracy of AD prediction.

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  6. The gap between chronological age (CA) and biological brain age, as estimated from magnetic resonance images (MRIs), reflects how individual patterns of neuroanatomic aging deviate from their typical trajectories. MRI-derived brain age (BA) estimates are often obtained using deep learning models that may perform relatively poorly on new data or that lack neuroanatomic interpretability. This study introduces a convolutional neural network (CNN) to estimate BA after training on the MRIs of 4,681 cognitively normal (CN) participants and testing on 1,170 CN participants from an independent sample. BA estimation errors are notably lower than those of previous studies. At both individual and cohort levels, the CNN provides detailed anatomic maps of brain aging patterns that reveal sex dimorphisms and neurocognitive trajectories in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, N  = 351) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD, N  = 359). In individuals with MCI (54% of whom were diagnosed with dementia within 10.9 y from MRI acquisition), BA is significantly better than CA in capturing dementia symptom severity, functional disability, and executive function. Profiles of sex dimorphism and lateralization in brain aging also map onto patterns of neuroanatomic change that reflect cognitive decline. Significant associations between BA and neurocognitive measures suggest that the proposed framework can map, systematically, the relationship between aging-related neuroanatomy changes in CN individuals and in participants with MCI or AD. Early identification of such neuroanatomy changes can help to screen individuals according to their AD risk. 
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  7. Abstract

    In the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continuum, the prodromal state of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) precedes AD dementia and identifying MCI individuals at risk of progression is important for clinical management. Our goal was to develop generalizable multivariate models that integrate high-dimensional data (multimodal neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, genetic factors, and measures of cognitive resilience) for identification of MCI individuals who progress to AD within 3 years. Our main findings were i) we were able to build generalizable models with clinically relevant accuracy (~93%) for identifying MCI individuals who progress to AD within 3 years; ii) markers of AD pathophysiology (amyloid, tau, neuronal injury) accounted for large shares of the variance in predicting progression; iii) our methodology allowed us to discover that expression ofCR1(complement receptor 1), an AD susceptibility gene involved in immune pathways, uniquely added independent predictive value. This work highlights the value of optimized machine learning approaches for analyzing multimodal patient information for making predictive assessments.

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