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Association between Alzheimer's disease and COVID-19: A bidirectional Mendelian randomization

By Di Liu, Xiaoyu Zhang, Weijie Cao, Jie Zhang, Manshu Song, Weijia Xing, Wei Wang, Qun Meng, Youxin Wang

Posted 30 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.27.20163212

Background In observational studies, Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been associated with an increased risk of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the prognosis of COVID-19 can affect nervous systems. However, the causality between these conditions remains to be determined. Methods This study sought to investigate the bidirectional causal relations of AD with COVID-19 using two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis. Results We found that genetically predicted AD was significantly associated with higher risk of severe COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 3.329; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.139-9.725; P=0.028). It's interesting that genetically predicted severe COVID-19 was also significantly associated with higher risk of AD (OR, 1.004; 95% CI, 1.001-1.007; P=0.018). In addition, the two strong genetic variants associated with severe COVID-19 was associated with higher AD risk (OR, 1.018; 95% CI, 1.003-1.034; P=0.018). There is no evidence to support that genetically predicted AD was significantly associated with COVID-19 susceptibility, and vice versa. No obvious pleiotropy bias and heterogeneity were observed. Conclusion Overall, AD may causally affect severe COVID-19, and vice versa, performing bidirectional regulation through independent biological pathways.

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