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ARUK 2021 | The OAS1 gene increases risk of AD and COVID-19

Dervis Salih, PhD, University College London, London, UK, outlines 15 new risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with one of the main genes being the OAS1 (oligoadenylate synthetase 1) gene, encoding the OAS1 enzyme involved in downstream interferon signaling and in anti-viral processes. The same gene was also identified as one of the 10 genes associated with severe COVID-19. One haplotype was discovered to increase risk for AD and severe COVID-19, suggesting that there is a link between the two diseases in terms of the same pathways being activated. Consequently, novel findings pertaining to COVID-19 may have relevance within AD research. This interview took place during the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Conference 2021.