Director of Cardiff Dementia Research Institute participates as key speaker in special UK DRI webinar
6 October 2021
Professor Julie Williams the Centre Director of UK DRI at Cardiff University joined UK DRI, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK to discuss research in building an early warning system for dementia.
This was the first virtual ‘Meet the researchers’ event held by UK DRI and it featured short talks from Professor Julie Williams, Dr Antoinette O’Connor (UK DRI at UCL) and Prof Payam Barnaghi (UK DRI Care Research & Technology).
Professor Williams discussed her research in how genes can provide valuable information about Alzheimer’s disease and our risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Williams’ talk covered four major research points: finding genes for Alzheimer’s, a multiplex model for Alzheimer’s disease, calculating our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and the Polygenic Risk Score, and about modelling Alzheimer disease research in the future.
“One of the major strategies to identify genes is called genome-wide association studies. We take a sample of blood from individuals and extract the DNA.
“We identify variants in individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease and compare them to individuals who do not.
“In genome-wide association studies we do this for millions of genetic variants throughout the whole genome and we do it in tens of thousands of people with Alzheimer’s disease and compare them to those that do not have the disease.
“There are patterns in the data we are seeing that are giving us big clues about what may be going on in Alzheimer’s disease.”
Following the talks, the researchers participated in a question and answer segment.