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2008 Grants - Rudy
Neocortical Cholinergic Function in Alzheimer Mouse Models
Bernardo Rudy, M.D., Ph.D.
New York University School of Medicine
New York, New York
2008 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
A neuron secretes chemicals called neurotransmitters for the purpose of sending signals to other neurons. Brain cells known as cholinergic neurons use the chemical acetylcholine as their neurotransmitter. These neurons become particularly susceptible to cell death during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Cholinergic neurons participate in many learning and memory functions that are known to decline during the progression of the disease. Some evidence suggests that replacing these neurons may improve Alzheimer symptoms in people who have the disease.
Bernardo Rudy, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues plan to study the mechanisms by which cholinergic neurons may affect Alzheimer pathology. For this effort, they will develop and test mice engineered to produce varying levels of cholinergic cells. Specifically, Dr. Rudy's team hopes to determine whether the overproduction of acetylcholine, caused by increased cholinergic cell activity, can prevent or slow the development of certain Alzheimer symptoms in the mice.
Results of this effort could lead to a novel therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's disease.