Genetic risk score predicting accelerated progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease.

Aside from APOE, the genetic factors that influence the progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) remain largely unknown. We assessed whether a genetic risk score (GRS), based on eight non-APOE genetic variants previously associated with AD risk in genome-wide association studies, is associated with either risk of conversion or with rapid progression from MCI to AD. Among 288 subjects with MCI, follow-up (mean 26.3 months) identified 118 MCI-converters to AD and 170 MCI-nonconverters. We genotyped ABCA7 rs3764650, BIN1 rs744373, CD2AP rs9296559, CLU rs1113600, CR1 rs1408077, MS4A4E rs670139, MS4A6A rs610932, and PICALM rs3851179. For each subject we calculated a cumulative GRS, defined as the number of risk alleles (range 0-16) with each allele weighted by the AD risk odds ratio. GRS was not associated with risk of conversion from MCI to AD. However, MCI-converters to AD harboring six or more risk alleles (second and third GRS tertiles) progressed twofold more rapidly to AD when compared with those with less than six risk alleles (first GRS tertile). Our GRS is a first step toward development of prediction models for conversion from MCI to AD that incorporate aggregate genetic factors.

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