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Hearing difficulty is linked to Alzheimer’s disease by common genetic vulnerability, not shared genetic architecture

Abidin, FNZ; Wells, HRR; Altmann, A; Dawson, SJ; (2021) Hearing difficulty is linked to Alzheimer’s disease by common genetic vulnerability, not shared genetic architecture. npj Aging and Mechanisms of Disease , 7 (1) , Article 17. 10.1038/s41514-021-00069-4. Green open access

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Abstract

Age-related hearing loss was recently established as the largest modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), however, the reasons for this link remain unclear. We investigate shared underlying genetic associations using results from recent large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on adult hearing difficulty and AD. Genetic correlation and Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis do not support a genetic correlation between the disorders, but suggest a direct causal link from AD genetic risk to hearing difficulty, driven by APOE. Systematic MR analyses on the effect of other traits revealed shared effects of glutamine, gamma-glutamylglutamine, and citrate levels on reduced risk of both hearing difficulty and AD. In addition, pathway analysis on GWAS risk variants suggests shared function in neuronal signalling pathways as well as etiology of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, after multiple testing corrections, neither analysis led to statistically significant associations. Altogether, our genetic-driven analysis suggests hearing difficulty and AD are linked by a shared vulnerability in molecular pathways rather than by a shared genetic architecture.

Type: Article
Title: Hearing difficulty is linked to Alzheimer’s disease by common genetic vulnerability, not shared genetic architecture
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41514-021-00069-4
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41514-021-00069-4
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Auditory system, Neurological disorders
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132044
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