NEW YORK, August 10, 2007 By 2050, more than 106 million people worldwide are forecasted to have Alzheimers disease (AD), including 16 million Americans if no preventive treatments become available. To address the need for more research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimers, six early-career scientists were awarded the first Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation/AFAR New Investigator Awards in Alzheimers Disease. The $60,000 award provides funding for a broad array of research that investigates the causes and progression of Alzheimers, including the basic mechanisms of aging, genetics, biomarkers, inflammation and the impact of exercise and the environment.
Award recipients include:
Yaniv Assaf, Ph.D., Lecturer, Tel Aviv University: "Hippocampus characterization of mice over-expressing APP and APOE3/4 using multi-dimensional MRI"
Dr. Assaf will study the role that the biochemical substances APP a precursor protein to amyloid-, the gene apoE4, and environmental factors play in brain plasticity, degeneration and cognitive decline using a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methodology called virtual-dot-com that allows for a greater sensitivity and specificity of the brain than conventional MRI.
Olivier Boutaud, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center: "Quantification of the relative abundance of secreted APP alpha and beta as a biomarker of Alzheimer's disease"
New therapies for AD are hindered by the lack of reliable biomarkers which could track the clinical progression of the disease. Dr. Boutauds research seeks to quantify whether levels of secreted APP alpha and beta could serve as an effective biomarker for Alzheimers disease. This biomarker could potentially be used as a prognostic tool to track the progression of the disease as well as monitor the biological effects of new therapeutic agents.
Chad Antony D