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 Tracking down pest control strategies
31.01.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Polymers and Fuels from Renewable Resources
29.01.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>