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Research Grants - 2013


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Research Grants 2013


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

2013 Grants - Palop

Cell-Based Therapy to Restore Brain Functions in Mouse Models

Jorge J. Palop, Ph.D.
The J. David Gladstone Institutes
San Francisco, California

2013 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

Many aspects of brain function depend on specific networks of nerve cells, which generate specific patterns and rhythms of activity. In Alzheimer's disease, specific types of nerve cells are especially vulnerable to damage and death, but loss of a small number of cells can disrupt the patterns of activity needed for memory and learning.

Jorge J. Palop, Ph.D., and colleagues have been studying disruption of nerve cell networks in mice genetically altered to have an Alzheimer's-like condition. They have identified a specific type of nerve cell, called an interneuron, that is especially vulnerable to death. Loss of interneurons disrupts the normal rhythmic activity in a part of the brain crucial for memory formation.

Dr. Palop's team has also identified a different part of the brain, known as the medial ganglionic eminence, where interneurons first arise during early development. Those interneurons then migrate to other parts of the brain. Dr. Palop and colleagues have proposed a series of studies to transplant young nerve cells from the medial ganglionic eminence into the brains of mice affected by an Alzheimer's-like condition. The researchers will test whether such a transplant procedure can restore normal brain rhythms and brain function in the affected mice. These studies are a first step in testing whether such a cell transplant procedure could be a valuable treatment for humans with Alzheimer's disease.