Despite the vast diversity of its populations, genetic studies in Africa have been limited. African populations, Malians in particular, have a high rate o intra-ethnic and consanguineous marriage, resulting in increased prevalence of autosomal recessive diseases. Family-based genetic studies can be limited in developed countries due to small sib ships. The average fertility rate in Mali is over 6 births per woman, offering a unique opportunity to find new disease genes or mutations that can then be studied in other populations. Hereditary neurological diseases are very debilitating diseases, and developing countries, particularly in Africa, pay a high price in terms of disability-adjusted life years. Although most are currently untreatable, increasing awareness about hereditary neurological disorders can reduce this burden. This study will help to identify and characterize novel hereditary neurological disease genes in Mali. These genes are likely to be important in the normal function of the nervous system and to have important pathophysiological implications for African and other populations. This study will also train physicians and students in the characterization of neurodegenerative diseases as well as in genetic technology and molecular biology, and build a suitable research environment that will retain them.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to clinically and genetically characterize Malian patients with hereditary neurological disorders, and to study the effects of putative sequence variants in cell models. It will allow training for physicians and students in genetics and molecular biology, and increase awareness about these conditions in the general population.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHG1-HGR-P (M2))
Program Officer
Struewing, Jeffery P
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Sciences, Tech & Tech of Bamako
Zip Code
Adebamowo, Sally N; Francis, Veronica; Tambo, Ernest et al. (2018) Implementation of genomics research in Africa: challenges and recommendations. Glob Health Action 11:1419033
Landouré, Guida; Cissé, Lassana; Touré, Boubacar A et al. (2017) Neurological Complications in Subjects With Sickle Cell Disease or Trait: Genetic Results From Mali. Glob Heart 12:77-80
Landouré, Guida; Samassékou, Oumar; Traoré, Mahamadou et al. (2016) Genetics and genomic medicine in Mali: challenges and future perspectives. Mol Genet Genomic Med 4:126-34
Sangaré, Modibo; Hendrickson, Brant; Sango, Hammadoun Ali et al. (2014) Genetics of low spinal muscular atrophy carrier frequency in sub-Saharan Africa. Ann Neurol 75:525-32
Landouré, Guida; Maiga, Youssoufa; Samassékou, Oumar et al. (2014) Epilepsy genetics in Africa: challenges and future perspectives. North Afr Middle East Epilepsy J 3:5-7
H3Africa Consortium (see original citation for additional authors) (2014) Research capacity. Enabling the genomic revolution in Africa. Science 344:1346-8