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TGen and Kronos initiate Alzheimer's disease study

Phoenix-Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Kronos Science Laboratories, an affiliate of Phoenix-based Kronos Optimal Health Company, have initiated a study with unprecedented power to identify genes that are involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of disabling memory and thinking problems in older persons.

Using cutting edge technology, researchers at TGen will survey 570,000 letters of the genetic alphabet (commonly known as "SNPs") in the DNA of 1,000 deceased persons confirmed to have Alzheimer's disease at autopsy and 1,000 deceased persons confirmed to be free of Alzheimer's disease at autopsy.

Because of the number of SNPs surveyed-more than any surveyed ever before-researchers have an extraordinary opportunity to search for Alzheimer's susceptibility genes throughout the human genome.

"The technology to sift through the human blueprint at ultra-high resolution to get at the root of diseases such as Alzheimer's has finally come of age," explains Dietrich A. Stephan, the study's principal investigator and head of TGen's Neurogenomics Division. "TGen is one of only a few places in the world that has this type of technology. The collaboration between Kronos and TGen represents a partnership which promises to greatly improve our understanding of the genetic causes of Alzheimer's disease so we may diagnose it early and develop knowledge-based therapies."

Kronos Science Laboratories will have an exclusive worldwide license to all intellectual property that results from the research. Based upon the results of this study, Kronos will develop a test that aids in clinical diagnosis and can determine a person's genetic predisposition for developing Alzheimer's disease.

"An estimated 4.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease today, and that number is projected to more than triple by 2050," said Dr. Christopher Heward, President of Kronos Scienc
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Contact: Galen Perry
gperry@tgen.org
602-343-8423
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
23-Feb-2005


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