'Fascinating' Link Between Alzheimer's and COVID-19!
Risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and susceptibility to severe COVID-19 share a common genetic mechanism involved in the immune response to viruses, investigators report. The findings could lead to new treatment targets to slow progression and severity of both diseases. Investigators found that a single genetic variant in the oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) gene increases the risk for AD and that related variants in the same gene increase the likelihood of severe COVID-19 outcomes.
@pritam The OAS1 gene is expressed in microglia, a type of immune cell that makes up around 10% of all cells in the brain. In earlier work, investigators found evidence suggesting a link between the OAS1 gene and AD, but the function of the gene in microglia was unknown. To further investigate the gene's link to AD, they sequenced genetic data from 2547 people ― half with AD, and half without. The genotyping analysis confirmed that the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1131454 within OAS1 is significantly associated with AD. Given that the same OAS1 locus has recently been linked with severe COVID-19 outcomes, the researchers investigated four variants on the OAS1 gene. Results indicate that SNPs within OAS1 associated with AD also show linkage to SNP variants associated with critical illness in COVID-19.