The team included researchers from 44 institutions around the world, including 10 from Mayo Clinic's campuses in Florida and Minnesota. The study was led by John Hardy, Ph.D., a researcher at the Institute of Neurology at University College London and a former professor at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
The researchers used new sequencing techniques to home in on the TREM2 gene. Additional TREM2 sequencing was then performed, in part, by scientist Aleksandra Wojtas in the Mayo Clinic in Florida laboratory of Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D. These studies led to identification of a set of rare variants in TREM2 that occurred more often in 1,092 Alzheimer's disease patients than in a control group of 1,107 healthy people.
The most common variant, R47H, was then evaluated in follow-up studies of a large number of Alzheimer's disease patients and controls. Minerva Carrasquillo, Ph.D., a scientist in the Mayo Clinic in Florida laboratory of Steven Younkin, M.D., Ph.D., spearheaded the direct genotyping and analysis of R47H in DNA samples from 1,994 Alzheimer's disease patients and 4,062 "control" participants—individuals verified not to have Alzheimer's.