Donate by 12/31
Research Grants - 2011


Alzheimer's Assocation Research only
All of alz.org
  • Go to Alz.org
  • Research Center
  • AAIC
  • ISTAART
  • Journal
  • Grants
  • TrialMatch
  • Press
  • Donate
  • Contact Us
Home
Science and Progress
Clinical Trials
Funding and Collaboration
You can Help
Stay Current
Video and Resources

Text Size

Small text Medium text Large text

Research Grants 2011


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

2011 Grants - Bacskai

Understanding the Selective Vulnerability of Neurons in Alzheimer's Disease

Brian J. Bacskai, Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Charlestown, Massachusetts

2011 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

In the brains of persons with Alzheimer's disease, certain types of nerve cells are known to be especially vulnerable to cell death. In some instances at least, nerve cell death is triggered by amyloid plaques, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer's pathology. Scientists have been studying why certain nerve cells are more vulnerable than others for many years, but the cause of selective vulnerability is still not well understood.

Dr. Brian J. Bacskai, Ph.D. and colleagues have observed that abnormally high levels of calcium occur inside some nerve cells when they are exposed to amyloid plaques, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer's pathology. Abnormally high calcium levels can be a sign of impending cell death, so Dr. Bacskai's team is using calcium levels to identify and study nerve cells that are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of amyloid.

Dr. Bacskai and colleagues plan to characterize the properties of vulnerable nerve cells and study the biochemical pathways that make these cells vulnerable. They will then use this knowledge to devise potential treatments to reduce the vulnerability of these cells to amyloid. These studies may help to identify new pathways and potential treatments to slow or prevent nerve cell damage in Alzheimer's disease.