Genetics of dementia in a Finnish cohort

Eur J Hum Genet. 2018 Jun;26(6):827-837. doi: 10.1038/s41431-018-0117-3. Epub 2018 Feb 23.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are the two most common neurodegenerative dementias. Variants in APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2 are typically linked to early-onset AD, and several genetic risk loci are associated with late-onset AD. Inherited FTD can be caused by hexanucleotide expansions in C9orf72, or variants in GRN, MAPT or CHMP2B. Several other genes have also been linked to FTD or FTD with motor neuron disease. Here we describe a cohort of 60 Finnish families with possible inherited dementia. Our aim was to clarify the genetic background of dementia in this cohort by analysing both known dementia-associated genes (APOE, APP, C9ORF72, GRN, PSEN1 and PSEN2) and searching for rare or novel segregating variants with exome sequencing. C9orf72 repeat expansions were detected in 12 (20%) of the 60 families, including, in addition to FTD, a family with neuropathologically verified AD. Twelve families (10 with AD and 2 with FTD) with representative samples from affected and unaffected subjects and without C9orf72 expansions were selected for whole-exome sequencing. Exome sequencing did not reveal any variants that could be regarded unequivocally causative, but revealed potentially damaging variants in UNC13C and MARCH4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • C9orf72 Protein / genetics*
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / genetics*
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / pathology
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Whole Exome Sequencing


  • C9orf72 Protein
  • C9orf72 protein, human