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Publication Detail
Immune system-wide Mendelian randomization and triangulation analyses support autoimmunity as a modifiable component in dementia-causing diseases
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Lindbohm JV, Mars N, Sipilä PN, Singh-Manoux A, Runz H, Livingston G, Seshadri S, Xavier R, Hingorani AD, Ripatti S, Kivimäki M
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    956, 972
  • Journal:
    Nature Aging
  • Volume:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Ageing, Autoimmune diseases, Dementia
  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Immune system and blood–brain barrier dysfunction are implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-causing diseases, but their causal role remains unknown. We performed Mendelian randomization for 1,827 immune system- and blood–brain barrier-related biomarkers and identified 127 potential causal risk factors for dementia-causing diseases. Pathway analyses linked these biomarkers to amyloid-β, tau and α-synuclein pathways and to autoimmunity-related processes. A phenome-wide analysis using Mendelian randomization-based polygenic risk score in the FinnGen study (n = 339,233) for the biomarkers indicated shared genetic background for dementias and autoimmune diseases. This association was further supported by human leukocyte antigen analyses. In inverse-probability-weighted analyses that simulate randomized controlled drug trials in observational data, anti-inflammatory methotrexate treatment reduced the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk individuals (hazard ratio compared with no treatment, 0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.49–0.88, P = 0.005). These converging results from different lines of human research suggest that autoimmunity is a modifiable component in dementia-causing diseases.
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