Iron deposition in the brain is a prominent feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, peripheral iron measures have also been shown to be associated with AD status. However, it is not known whether these associations are causal: do elevated or depleted iron levels throughout life have an effect on AD risk? We evaluate the effects of peripheral iron on AD risk using a genetic profile score approach by testing whether variants affecting iron, transferrin, or ferritin levels selected from GWAS meta-analysis of approximately 24,000 individuals are also associated with AD risk in an independent case-control cohort (n∼10,000). Conversely, we test whether AD risk variants from a GWAS meta-analysis of approximately 54,000 account for any variance in iron measures (n∼9,000). We do not identify a genetic relationship, suggesting that peripheral iron is not causal in the initiation of AD pathology.
- Alzheimer's disease
- apolipoproteins E
- genetic profile scores
- genome-wide association study
- population genetics