About this Research Topic
With a world-wide trend towards longer lifespans, age-related conditions such as neurodegenerative disease have become an increasingly pressing problem. It has become clear that neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, are genetically complex—meaning that phenotypic outcomes are influenced by interactions between many genes and gene products and many environmental factors. A large number of potentially causal gene variants have been identified, and yet these diseases remain insufficiently understood. Because of their complexity, such conditions are most effectively studied as a system—where many genes and gene products interact to maintain healthy homeostasis, and where perturbations to the system lead to disease. A large number of tools and datasets now exist to aid this research, and most are freely available as public resources. A challenge in modern biology, therefore, is to better use the vast reserves of data which have been collected over the last decades. This Research Topic is intended to showcase methods and examples of how re-analysis of public data resources can inform research into neurodegenerative diseases.
This Research Topic is open to all research on the genetics and genomics of neurodegenerative disease which makes use of public datasets and resources. We encourage original research articles offering new hypotheses or insights into disease epidemiology or progression, new methods or resources which aid this research, and reviews covering the application of bioinformatics tools to neurodegenerative diseases. This Research Topic complements a Summer School to be held in August 2017 (http://sysgenschool.org/sgn2017/) and aims to extend the discussion of neuroinformatics and neurodegenerative disease to a wider community. We believe that the urgent need for research on neurodegenerative disease combined with the explosive growth of underused data mean this is an opportune moment to address how we can best use the resources we have available.
Editorial Office Note: Examples of manuscripts based on public data can be found in a previous Research Topic "Collaborative mining of public data resources in neuroinformatics".
Keywords: Neurology, systems biology, quantitative genetics, clinical genetics, neuroscience, computational biology, databases, genomics.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.