A two-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry identified 11 new loci associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The multidisciplinary study, recently reported in Nature Genetics, (“Meta-analysis of 74,046 individuals 11 new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer’s disease”, published online on October 27, 2013), is a significant step toward identifying genetic risk factors for developing this devastating neurological disorder.

The study was conducted under the banner of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project. The analyzed data was collected from four consortia: the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Consortium, the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium, the European Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative and the Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium. The combined data sets consisted of 17,008 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 37,154 controls. 11,632 SNPs were genotyped and tested for association in an independent set of 8,572 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 11,312 controls. In addition to identifying the apolipoprotein E locus, 19 loci reached genome-wide significance, 11 of which are newly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.