Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are the most common neurodegenerative diseases and there is increasing evidence that they share common physiological and pathological links. Here we have conducted the largest network analysis of PD and AD based on their gene expressions in blood to date. We identified modules that were not preserved between disease and healthy control (HC) networks, and important hub genes and transcription factors (TFs) in these modules. We highlighted that the PD module not preserved in HCs was associated with insulin resistance, and HDAC6 was identified as a hub gene in this module which may have the role of influencing tau phosphorylation and autophagic flux in neurodegenerative disease. The AD module associated with regulation of lipolysis in adipocytes and neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction was not preserved in healthy and mild cognitive impairment networks and the key hubs TRPC5 and BRAP identified as potential targets for therapeutic treatments of AD. Our study demonstrated that PD and AD share common disrupted genetics and identified novel pathways, hub genes and TFs that may be new areas for mechanistic study and important targets in both diseases.