A large, genome-wide study on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is expected to start soon in India.
Named the Srinivasapura Aging Neuro Senescence and Cognition (SANSCOG), the study will be conducted by the Centre for Brain Research (CBR), Bengaluru.
“The study aims to look at genetic susceptibility and also the role of environmental factors that contribute to complex diseases like Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Bratati Kahali, Scientist at the Centre for Brain Research (CBR), Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
A team of qualified doctors, psychologists and social workers will examine 10,000 people above 45 years from Srinivaspura taluk in the Kolar district of Karnataka annually for a period of 10 years to comprehend the factors that cause dementia.
The people, belonging to the middle age group, were chosen to study their susceptibility to develop or not to develop a neurogenerative disease later on. How a person leads his life in his 30s and 40s can determine what he or she is going to be in his 60s and 70s. Added to that is one’s genetic susceptibility. These can be assessed only through population-based studies, she added.
The study will employ latest tools like next generation sequencing and high-throughput screening technologies to cover the entire genome rather than one gene.
“It is going to be a large study, not only in terms of numbers, but also in terms of the technology used,” claimed Dr Ganesh Chauhan, Assistant Professor at CBR.
Currently, there is no data available from therapeutic studies in India. Whatever is available is from certain pockets with a small sample size. Preliminary work on the study has started. The project will go full-scale by the end of March 2019, he added.