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Research Grants - 2011


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Research Grants 2011


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.

2011 Grants - Arikkath

Cooperation of D-Catenin and Presenilin in the Synaptic Pathology of Alzheimer's Disease

Jyothi Arikkath, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska

2011 New Investigator Research Grant

Synapses are specialized regions of nerve cells that when stimulated, send rapid signals to other nerve cells. They are also crucial for learning and memory. Evidence indicates that the structure and function of brain synapses become abnormal in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The mechanisms that cause this pathology are not well understood.

D-catenin and presenilin-1 (PS1) are proteins found in nerve cells. PS1 is known to be involved in Alzheimer's pathology because mutations in its gene cause certain inherited forms of the disease. D-catenin has been shown to interact with PS1, and both proteins are believed to be important for the normal structure and function of synapses.

Jyothi Arikkath, Ph.D. and colleagues will study how D-catenin and PS1 are involved in the development and maintenance of synapse structure and function. For these studies, the researchers will use nerve cells growing in culture and mice that have been genetically altered to express mutated forms of PS1. These studies will address key questions about the mechanisms of cognitive decline in early Alzheimer's disease, and they may help to identify biochemical targets for future therapies to slow or halt disease progression.