Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Alzheimer’s disease - recent discoveries pave the way toward new treatments

27.04.2004


Lennart Mucke discusses findings at American Academy of Neurology 56th Annual Meeting



Promising research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, with an emphasis on the roles of such proteins as amyloid-beta and apolipoprotein E, will be the subject of a plenary session presentation on April 29 at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Lennart Mucke, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), will discuss the latest therapeutic targets and describe molecular markers of cognitive decline that may facilitate the assessment of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.


"Ongoing studies are beginning to unravel the pathways that lead from the accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain to the biochemical alterations and cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease," says Mucke.

His talk, "Markers and Mediators of Neuronal Deficits in Dementia," will highlight recent discoveries that shed light on the processes underlying the memory loss and other cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The presentation is part of "Frontiers in Clinical Neurosciences Plenary Session: Beyond the Decade of the Brain," during which several scientists will present recent research findings and discuss their clinical implications.

"Recently, we identified a number of mechanistically informative changes in the brains of transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, and we have begun to validate the clinical relevance of these findings in human cases," explains Mucke. "For instance, deficits in spatial learning and memory in our mice correlated tightly with the depletion of calcium-dependent proteins in specific brain regions. Similar abnormalities were then found in brains from patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and the greatest depletions were seen in the most severely demented people."

Mucke’s talk will focus on these and other key findings from studies of transgenic mice and human brain tissues carried out at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. One study, for example, showed that high levels of amyloid proteins disrupt complex brain circuits in which memories are formed and stored. Mucke’s work in this area is contributing to an important paradigm shift in the field. Previously, the most widely held view was that large clumps of amyloid proteins in the brain (referred to as "plaques") cause the neurological decline in Alzheimer’s disease. But studies conducted at Gladstone, UCSF, and other centers suggest that much smaller aggregates of these proteins are the real culprits. These findings are helping to resolve the controversy surrounding the role of amyloid proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies he will discuss have identified molecular pathways through which amyloid proteins may impair brain functions and have demonstrated that amyloid proteins can enhance the accumulation and toxicity of other disease-causing proteins. The latter finding may help explain the frequent clinical and pathological overlap between Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

In addition, Mucke will describe findings that explain how apolipoprotein E4 -- the best established genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease -- can promote the development of this illness and how its harmful effects might be prevented or reversed with new therapeutic approaches now under development at Gladstone.

Basic research findings are the foundation for developing novel therapeutic strategies and new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Genetically engineered mouse models are especially useful tools for studying neurodegenerative disease because they allow individual proteins to be studied in the complex environment of the living brain, enabling scientists to determine which of these proteins are the most toxic. Such models are also useful for the preclinical evaluation of new treatments aimed at the toxic proteins themselves or at the disease-causing processes they trigger.

"While the investigation of neurological diseases has promoted basic neuroscientific discoveries for more than a century, there has never been a more promising and exciting convergence of basic and disease-related neuroscience than now," says Mucke.

The AAN meeting will be held in the Moscone Convention Center from April 24 through May 1. Some 1,300 scientific studies will be presented as platform or poster sessions highlighting the latest research findings on dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological disorders. The AAN, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.


The Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease is one of three research institutes of The J. David Gladstone Institutes, a private, nonprofit biomedical research institution affiliated with UCSF. For further information, visit www.gladstone.ucsf.edu/gind

John Watson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>