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Approved research

Common risk factors and mechanisms in cardiometabolic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases

Principal Investigator: Professor Geng Zong
Approved Research ID: 55005
Approval date: January 14th 2020

Lay summary

Aims: Our study aims to uncover potential links between cardiometabolic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, by focusing on their shared risk factors and mechanisms. Scientific rationale: These two categories of diseases affect a large and growing population worldwide, and current studies suggest that they are interconnected. For example, unfavorable lifestyles (such as smoking and alcohol drinking) and mutations in key genes (such as APOE genes) may increase risks of both cardiometabolic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Meanwhile, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia have been associated with structural brain abnormalities and higher dementia risk in later life, whereas Alzheimer's disease-related proteins has also been suggested to promote diabetes. A systematic study on their shared risk factors and mechanisms will deepen our understanding on their pathogenesis and progression. Project duration: This complicated project includes several independent analyses and requires close collaborations between two research groups. We expect to achieve some initial milestones in the next 3 years. Public health impact: Our study may promote public health policy priorities by focusing on common environment risk factors of two major disease categories. Evidences on the bidirectional relationship and common pathways of these diseases may inform healthcare providers to ensure the long-term survival of patients with either health conditions, and inspires new clinical practices in disease treatment.