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2010 Grants - Fan
Assessing Heterogeneity of Alzheimer's Disease Using Integrated Microchips
Rong Fan, Ph.D.
New Haven, Connecticut
2010 New Investigator Research Grant
Alzheimer's disease is a complex disorder that may arise from a variety of pathological origins. Though much Alzheimer research focuses on how the disease damages brain cells and cognitive ability, the disorder may also arise by inducing brain inflammation. Moreover, the progression of Alzheimer's differs from individual to individual, and its course may be determined by how cells in diseased regions of the brain communicate with one another.
For this proposed study, Rong Fan, Ph.D., and colleagues will develop a sophisticated, computer-based tool to assess how brain cells use different proteins to communicate with one another in Alzheimer's. Their analytical tool will analyze 20 different proteins used by various nerve cells and microglia—or "helper cells." All of the 20 proteins are known to be involved in causing brain inflammation, brain cell damage and other disease processes. The researchers hope to describe in detail how a variety of disease-related communication occurs in brain cells.
Results of Dr. Fan's study could lead to a better understanding of the complexity of Alzheimer's disease at the molecular level. It could also lead to more targeted disease treatments.