Molecular genetics has been an invaluable tool to help understand the molecular basis of neurodegenerative dementias. In this review, we provide an overview of the genetic architecture underlying some of the most prevalent causes of dementia, including Alzheimer's dementia, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Lewy body dementia, and prion diseases. We also discuss the complexity of the human genome and how the novel technologies have revolutionized and accelerated the way we screen the variety of our DNA. Finally, we also provide some examples about how this genetic knowledge is being transferred into the clinic through personalized medicine. This article is part of the special issue entitled 'The Quest for Disease-Modifying Therapies for Neurodegenerative Disorders'.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Frontotemporal dementia; Genetics; Lewy body; Prion; Review.
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