A new and powerful approach, called imaging-wide association study (IWAS), is proposed to integrate imaging endophenotypes with GWAS to boost statistical power and enhance biological interpretation for GWAS discoveries. IWAS extends the promising transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) from using gene expression endophenotypes to using imaging and other endophenotypes with a much wider range of possible applications. As illustration, we use gray-matter volumes of several brain regions of interest (ROIs) drawn from the ADNI-1 structural MRI data as imaging endophenotypes, which are then applied to the individual-level GWAS data of ADNI-GO/2 and a large meta-analyzed GWAS summary statistics dataset (based on about 74,000 individuals), uncovering some novel genes significantly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We also compare the performance of IWAS with TWAS, showing much larger numbers of significant AD-associated genes discovered by IWAS, presumably due to the stronger link between brain atrophy and AD than that between gene expression of normal individuals and the risk for AD. The proposed IWAS is general and can be applied to other imaging endophenotypes, and GWAS individual-level or summary association data.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904) and DOD ADNI (Department of Defense award number W81XWH-12-2-0012). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: Alzheimer's Association; Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen Idec Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC.; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC.; Medpace, Inc.; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Synarc Inc.; and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The Canadian Institutes of Rev December 5, 2013 Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (www.fnih.org). The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California, San Diego. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California.
- Alzheimer's disease
- SPU test
- SSU test
- Sum test
- aSPU test