A FinnGen pilot clinical recall study for Alzheimer’s disease


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Successful development of novel therapies requires that clinical trials are conducted in patient cohorts with the highest benefit-to-risk ratio. Population-based biobanks with comprehensive health and genetic data from large numbers of individuals hold promise to facilitate identification of trial participants, particularly when interventions need to start while symptoms are still mild, such as for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study describes a process for clinical recall studies from FinnGen. We demonstrate the feasibility to systematically ascertain customized clinical data from FinnGen participants with ICD10 diagnosis of AD or mild cognitive disorder (MCD) in a single-center cross-sectional study testing blood-based biomarkers and cognitive functioning in-person, computer-based and remote. As a result, 19% (27/140) of a pre-specified FinnGen subcohort were successfully recalled and completed the study. Hospital records largely validated registry entries. For 8/12 MCD patients, other reasons than AD were identified as underlying diagnosis. Cognitive measures correlated across platforms, with highest consistencies for dementia screening (r = 0.818) and semantic fluency (r = 0.764), respectively, for in-person versus telephone-administered tests. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (p < 0.002) and phosphorylated-tau 181 (pTau-181) (p < 0.020) most reliably differentiated AD from MCD participants. We conclude that informative, customized clinical recall studies from FinnGen are feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12641
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer Disease/diagnosis
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnosis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall
  • tau Proteins


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