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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 - Gerges

Role of Retinoic Acid in Alzheimer's Disease

Nashaat Gerges, Ph.D.
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2011 New Investigator Research Grant

Brain cells communicate with one another through tiny channels called synapses. In early Alzheimer's disease, damage to these synapses is associated with cognitive decline, especially learning and memory deficits. Yet the exact biological mechanisms underlying this synaptic damage are unclear.

Nashaat Gerges, Ph.D., and colleagues have observed that retinoic acid, a key compound in vitamin A, may work together with a protein called neurogranin to promote healthy synaptic function. In Alzheimer's disease, however, the transportation of neurogranin to neuronal synapses becomes decreased, possibly reducing the ability of both neurogranin and retinoic acid to maintain synaptic health.

For this study, Dr. Gerges and colleagues intend to clarify how neurogranin assists retinoic acid in regulating synaptic activity. Part of their effort will involve assessing how the two compounds may work together to improve synaptic health and cognitive function in models of Alzheimer's disease. Such work could lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cognitive decline in Alzheimer's. It could also help promote the development of therapies for preventing the disease or slowing its progression.