Genomic studies in cognitive function and Alzheimer's disease
Gillis, Eric Lanier
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GENOMIC STUDIES OF COGNITIVE FUNCTION AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE by ERIC L. GILLIS (Under the Direction of Changwei Li and Toni Miles) ABSTRACT Currently, many longitudinal cognition studies measure cognitive function with various instruments and in different cognitive domains. This issue makes making inferences about causal factors problematic because misclassification of the outcome can bias the null hypothesis. To address this issue, our study validated the use of cognitive trajectories (CT) to accurately predict low cognitive function versus high cognitive function. CT analysis provides a uniform method to detect cases of impairment when instruments for measuring CI are not consistent across data. Conclusively identifying risk factors for CI (AD) is an important public health priority as this information is required to effectively implement intervention strategies that have the potential to reduce morbidity and health care costs in an increasing senior population. Identifying risk factors and novel genes associated with AD will provide information that may illuminate the possible biological mechanisms that can influence the severity or rate of cognitive decline in AD patients.