MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The University of Miami has been awarded a four-year grant to identify the genetic risks of Alzheimer’s disease.

The nearly $13 million in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health is part of a five-university collaboration to identify rare genetic variants that may either protect against, or contribute to Alzheimer’s disease risk.

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Researchers will analyze data from 6,000 volunteers with Alzheimer’s disease and 5,000 older individuals who did not have the disease. In addition, they will study genomic data from 111 large families with multiple Alzheimer’s disease members, mostly of Caucasian and Caribbean Hispanic descent to identify rare genetic variants.

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Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, affects as many as five million people age 65 and older in the United States.

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