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Alzheimers disease - recent discoveries pave the way toward new treatments

Promising research into the causes of Alzheimer's disease, with an emphasis on the roles of such proteins as amyloid-beta and apolipoprotein E, will be the subject of a plenary session presentation on April 29 at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Lennart Mucke, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), will discuss the latest therapeutic targets and describe molecular markers of cognitive decline that may facilitate the assessment of new treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

"Ongoing studies are beginning to unravel the pathways that lead from the accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain to the biochemical alterations and cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease," says Mucke.

His talk, "Markers and Mediators of Neuronal Deficits in Dementia," will highlight recent discoveries that shed light on the processes underlying the memory loss and other cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. The presentation is part of "Frontiers in Clinical Neurosciences Plenary Session: Beyond the Decade of the Brain," during which several scientists will present recent research findings and discuss their clinical implications.

"Recently, we identified a number of mechanistically informative changes in the brains of transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, and we have begun to validate the clinical relevance of these findings in human cases," explains Mucke. "For instance, deficits in spatial learning and memory in our mice correlated tightly with the depletion of calcium-dependent proteins in specific brain regions. Similar abnormalities were then found in brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease, and the greatest depletions were seen in the most severely demented people."

Mucke's talk will focus on these and other key findin
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Contact: John Watson
jwatson@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-695-3833
University of California - San Francisco
26-Apr-2004


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