Gene-by-environment interactions in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Aug:103:73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.06.018. Epub 2019 Jun 14.


Diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) arise from complex interactions of genetic and environmental factors, with genetic variants regulating individual responses to environmental exposures (i.e. gene-by-environment interactions). Identifying gene-by-environment interactions will be critical to fully understanding disease mechanisms and developing personalized therapeutics, though these interactions are still poorly understood and largely under-studied. Candidate gene approaches have shown that known disease risk variants often regulate response to environmental factors. However, recent improvements in exposome- and genome-wide association and interaction studies in humans and mice are enabling discovery of novel genetic variants and pathways that predict response to a variety of environmental factors. Here, we highlight recent approaches and ongoing developments in human and rodent studies to identify genetic modulators of environmental factors using AD and PD as exemplars. Identifying gene-by-environment interactions in disease will be critical to developing personalized intervention strategies and will pave the way for precision medicine.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Exposome; Gene-Environment; Genetic reference panel; Genome; Parkinson’s disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Exposome*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / genetics