Quantitative endophenotypes as an alternative approach to understanding genetic risk in neurodegenerative diseases

Fabiana H.G. Farias, Bruno A. Benitez, Carlos Cruchaga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Endophenotypes, as measurable intermediate features of human diseases, reflect underlying molecular mechanisms. The use of quantitative endophenotypes in genetic studies has improved our understanding of pathophysiological changes associated with diseases. The main advantage of the quantitative endophenotypes approach to study human diseases over a classic case-control study design is the inferred biological context that can enable the development of effective disease-modifying treatments. Here, we summarize recent progress on biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, including cerebrospinal fluid and blood-based, neuroimaging, neuropathological, and clinical studies. This review focuses on how endophenotypic studies have successfully linked genetic modifiers to disease risk, disease onset, or progression rate and provided biological context to genes identified in genome-wide association studies. Finally, we review critical methodological considerations for implementing this approach and future directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105247
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume151
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

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