Assessing the role of the TREM2 p.R47H variant as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia

Neurobiol Aging. 2014 Feb;35(2):444.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.08.011. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


A non-synonymous genetic rare variant, rs75932628-T (p.R47H), in the TREM2 gene has recently been reported to be a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Also, rare recessive mutations have been associated with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We aimed to investigate the role of p.R47H variant in AD and FTD through a multi-center study comprising 3172 AD and 682 FTD patients and 2169 healthy controls from Spain. We found that 0.6% of AD patients carried this variant compared to 0.1% of controls (odds ratio [OR] = 4.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21-14.00, p = 0.014). A meta-analysis comprising 32,598 subjects from 4 previous studies demonstrated the large effect of the p.R47H variant in AD risk (OR = 4.11, 95% CI = 2.99-5.68, p = 5.27×10(-18)). We did not find an association between p.R47H and age of onset of AD or family history of dementia. Finally, none of the FTD patients harbored this genetic variant. These data strongly support the important role of p.R47H in AD risk, and suggest that this rare genetic variant is not related to FTD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Frontotemporal dementia; Genetic association; Rare variant; TREM2; p.R47H.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / genetics*
  • Genes, Recessive / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TREM2 protein, human