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Approved Research

The risk factors, genetic architecture, and gene-environment interactions in dementia

Principal Investigator: Professor Lu Shen
Approved Research ID: 82503
Approval date: May 19th 2022

Lay summary

Dementia is a major public health concern characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and ultimately impaired independent living, imposing substantial burden on patients, caregivers, and national health-care systems. A number of studies have revealed that genetic, environmental factors, as well as gene-environment interactions contribute to the pathogenesis of dementia. However, some of the previous studies demonstrated inconsistent results partly due to relatively small sample size. As such, it is urgent to investigate risk factors and their gene-environment interactions using large biobanks.

Using high-quality data from the UK Biobank, the present study aims to comprehensively examine the roles of genetic, environmental factors, and gene-environment interactions in dementia. We anticipate identifying some novel risk or protective factors as well as gene-environment interactions in dementia, which may shed light on the pathogenesis of dementia.

By identifying risk factors and interactions involved in dementia, this project may facilitate the development of prevention and treatment of dementia. We anticipate the project duration to be 36 months.