2006 Alzheimer Award to P. Hemachandra Reddy, PhD

The 2006 Alzheimer Award is being presented to P. Hemachandra Reddy, Ph.D., in recognition of his outstanding work published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (IOS Press, Volume 7, 2005, 103-117), "Differential loss of synaptic proteins in Alzheimer's disease: Implications for synaptic dysfunction" by P. Hemachandra Reddy, Geethalakshmi Mani, Byung S. Park, Joline Jacques, Geoffrey Murdoch, William Whetsell Jr., Jeffrey Kaye, and Maria Manczak. The work was performed at the Neurological Sciences Institute, West Campus, Oregon Health & Science University, Beaverton, OR, USA.

Synaptic pathology is a prominent feature of Alzheimer's disease and strongly correlates with cognitive impairments. Synaptic damage occurs early in AD development, suggesting that synaptic alterations are a primary event in the progression of AD. However, the underlying mechanisms of synaptic pathology in AD are not completely understood. The main objective of the research awarded the prize was to determine whether presynaptic or postsynaptic compartments of neurons in AD patients are preferentially affected by disease.

Using immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and densitometry techniques, Reddy and his colleagues investigated 7 synaptic proteins in a large number of postmortem brains from AD patients and age-matched control subjects. They found a selective loss of both presynaptic and post synaptic proteins in the postmortem brains from the AD patients relative to those from the age-matched control subjects. Of the 7 proteins studied, the presynaptic proteins synaptophysin and rab 3A, and the postsynaptic protein synaptopodin were the most down-regulated. In addition, this paper is the first to report on the loss of synaptopodin in the postmortem brains from AD patients a finding that beckons further investigation of postsynaptic proteins in AD patients.

P. Hemachandra Reddy was a commonwealth scholar (1990-1993) before receiving his Ph.D. (1994) from University C

Contact: George Perry
Case Western Reserve University

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