Down syndrome and the fetal exposome Stephanie Sherman and Judy Fridovich-Keil, Emory University, School of Medicine Down syndrome (DS) is typically considered to be primarily a genetic disease caused by trisomy 21 and characterized by a range of clinically significant outcomes. Although DS is genetically based, there is a high degree of variability in symptoms […]
The pathogenic markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have been widely hypothesized to accumulate in the brain up to 15 years before the onset of cognitive symptoms. AD risks are best modeled by assessing the interaction of demographic factors (age, gender, race), genetic risk factors, active biological processes (e.g. neuroinflammation) and neuroprotective factors (e.g. education).
The epigenomic profile can be modified by environmental factors and regulate gene expression levels. Environmental stressors induce immune responses and lead to elevated levels of inflammation, a mechanism for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and cancer. DNA methylation (DNAm), a well-documented epigenetic mechanism, is associated with inflammatory markers. Through this pilot project, Dr. Sun plans to use a systems biology approach to study DNAm networks which are impacted by multiple environmental stressors (smoking, air pollution, and psychosocial stress).