Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pioneers in Alzheimer's Research: Research couple honored for its lifetime achievement

16.07.2013
Joint press release from the DZNE and the center of advanced european studies and research (caesar)

The U.S. Alzheimer's Association honors Dr. Eva-Maria Mandelkow and Prof. Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the caesar research center. The research couple receives the "2013 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award" for its role as pioneers in investigating the role of tau in Alzheimer's disease. The award ceremony was held yesterday (4: pm EST) within the framework of the "Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2013)" in Boston (USA).

Eva-Maria and Eckhard Mandelkow have with their team achieved significant progress in Alzheimer's research in the course of their studies of a protein called "Tau". It is the basic substance of so-called neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) - tiny protein deposits that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. In the normal state, tau binds the cytoskeleton of neurons, in particular, it stabilizes the transport routes, along which their substances are transported within cells. Very early in Alzheimer's disease, the tau protein however changes, detaches itself from the cytoskeleton and agglomerates.

Since the 1990s, Eva-Maria and Eckhard Mandelkow have analyzed this protein. Longtime, the importance of the tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease has been underestimated. “At that time, no one would have thought that tau has such a significant role. However, we have pursued this approach because we have been interested in the role of Tau in nerve cells“ said Eva-Maria Mandelkow.

In pioneering studies, she and her husband have shown why the tau protein lumps in the brain and which sections of the molecular structure are thereby decisive. These findings allowed the couple to examine the consequences of the aggregation of the tau protein for the nerve cells in more detail. The result: Modifications of normal tau destroy the synapses of nerve cells. This is for example shown by studies on mice. If the protein accumulates in nerve cells, these mice perform worse in learning and memory tests than healthy animals and develop typical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In the event that the production of the toxic tau in the cells is stopped, the synapses regenerate and the mice recover from amnesia. This observation shows that the disease process is in principle reversible.

Eckhard Mandelkow: "I am of the opinion that an effective therapy against Alzheimer is possible. Crucial, in my view, is that the treatment is started early enough. Many of today's therapy approaches might have failed on account of the fact that they are applied too late. Since a disease is usually only diagnosed when typical symptoms such as memory dysfunctions are evident. At this time, the brain is however already severely damaged."

Recently, the couple has examined 200,000 substances, in order to find an active agent against the aggregation of tau. Some of these substances were found to be potential candidates for drugs. Their effect will now be further explored.

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow studied physics and did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg on the structure of virus proteins. In a subsequent research period at the Brandeis University (USA), he already dealt with proteins of the cytoskeleton and then continued this line of research. Then he focused on the structure and function of proteins of the nerve cells, especially of motor proteins, tau proteins and their pathological changes during the neurodegeneration. He is the head of the working group "Structural principles of neurodegeneration" at the DZNE/caesar in Bonn.

Dr. Eva-Maria Mandelkow studied medicine, worked for several years in the clinic and then pursued a career in fundamental research. She received her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg for her work in muscle physiology. This was followed by research periods at the Brandeis University (USA), the Scripps Research Institute (USA) and at the MRC Laboratory in Cambridge (UK), where she dealt with proteins of the cytoskeleton. Eva-Maria Mandelkow heads the working group "Cell and animal models of neurodegeneration" at the DZNE/caesar in Bonn.

Contact

Dr. Eva-Maria und Prof. Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow DZNE, Bonn and caesar research center
Tel.: +49 228/43302-688
E-Mail: Eva.Mandelkow@dzne.de / Eckhard.Mandelkow@dzne.de
Dr. Dirk Förger
Head of Press and Public Relations
DZNE, Bonn
Tel.: +49 228/43302-260
E-Mail: presse@dzne.de
Dr. Jürgen Reifarth
Head of Press and Public Relations
caesar research center
Tel.: +49 228/9656-107
E-Mail: juergen.reifarth@caesar.de

Sonja Jülich-Abbas | idw
Further information:
http://www.dzne.de

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore win prize for the discovery of two cancer viruses
14.03.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>