Layman’s abstract for the Canadian Journal of Statistics on a structured brain-wide and genome-wide association study using ADNI PET images

Each week, we publish layman’s abstracts of new articles from our prestigious portfolio of journals in statistics. The aim is to highlight the latest research to a broader audience in an accessible format.
The article featured today is from the Canadian Journal of Statistics with the full article now available to read here.
Li, Y., Nan, B., Zhu, J. and (2021), A structured brain-wide and genome-wide association study using ADNI PET images. Can J Statistics, 49: 182-202.
We propose a novel method for association studies between high-resolution brain image and whole genome (brain-GWAS) by taking into account the intrinsic grouping structures of the brain and the genome, such as brain anatomical regions of interest, genes, and genetic pathways. The proposed method is more powerful than the conventional single-voxel-to-single-SNP approaches in identifying the true association signals, and widely applicable to a range of association studies with different imaging modalities or molecular data types, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), methylation, copy number variation, and mitochondrial DNA profiles. In the application discussed in this article, the method helps identify novel association signals between PET imaging and genetic biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, which may shed lights on a better understanding of mechanisms of the disease’s development and progression. 
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