Research Updates

Gene Mutation Found that Protects Against Alzheimer’s, with Drug Discovery Implications

Genes are the specific DNA blueprints for life, and all genes play roles that are essential for health. But some can carry DNA variants that influence risk for disease, either by increasing or decreasing susceptibility. If a variation in a gene is very rare, it’s called a mutation. The mutation may cause disease, increase risk for a disease, protect against a disease, or have no impact on health at all.

Untangling Tau: Seeking a Unified Understanding of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s research for many years has been dominated by a focus on Abeta “plaques,” a focus that largely has overlooked the other infamous hallmark of the disease—the tau-based neurofibrillary “tangles.” The research world recently has broadened its scope to include significant research into tau.

Big Step Toward Understanding Origins of Alzheimer’s Taken by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Researchers

Charles Glabe of the University of California, Irvine and our Research Consortium and George Bloom of the University of Virginia have added significantly to the growing evidence of the link between the proteins Abeta and tau in initiating Alzheimer’s disease. In a collaboration supported by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, the two researchers and their colleagues identify a little-studied form of Abeta as a possible key to the ultimate destruction of nerve cells in the brain.

Research Consortium Member David Holtzman’s Latest Paper Published in Journal of Neuroscience

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium member David Holtzman’s latest paper has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, addressing how Alzheimer’s plaques affect brain networks.
 

Alzheimer's and Diabetes: Finding the Common Origin

Alzheimer’s disease and Type II diabetes long have been observed to have a clinical connection, with patients with diabetes more than twice as likely as those without the disease to develop Alzheimer’s. But the precise nature of this connection has been a mystery until recently. Over the last few years, research projects funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and others have helped bring us much closer to an understanding of the molecular connection—and, potentially, to effective treatments for both diseases.

Bexarotene, a new wonder drug for Alzheimer’s?

Dr. Gary Landreth and colleagues at Case Western Reserve published a paper online in Science Express yesterday that received much attention because of the rather stunning results it reports in stopping and even reversing “a broad range of Abeta-induced deficits."

Cure Alzheimer’s Research Consortium Members Rudy Tanzi and Sam Gandy Say Exercise is Key

Exercise and stimulation of the brain may help ward off Alzheimer's disease, according to Dr. Tanzi and Dr. Gandy, both Cure Alzheimer's Fund Research Consortium members who were recently quoted in an article in the AARP Bulletin.
 

Rudy Tanzi Interviewed on New Technology for Alzheimer's

TheVisualMD has announced a new health initiative on Alzheimer's disease, a project that is anchored by the creation of a digital e-booklet that helps non-researchers better understand Alzheimer's. Dr. Rudy Tanzi, chairman of Cure Alzheimer's Fund Research Consortium, was interviewed about the new initiative:
 
"There is a great degree of confusion in the general public about the causes of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and age-related memory problems. This comprehensive educational initiative will go a long way to demystify these issues."
 

Steve Wagner Receives NIH ‘Blueprint’ Grant

The CAF approach is working.

UC San Diego neuroscientist Steve Wagner, a previous recipient of two substantial grants from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF), has been awarded a $1 million NIH “Blueprint” grant for the fast-track development of a promising Alzheimer’s drug therapy.

“This is further validation of our venture model,” says CAF President and CEO Tim Armour. “We’ve always been willing to take considerable risk for the prospect of faster progress. Steve’s project is a sterling example of why our founders adopted this strategy. Thanks in part to CAF’s support for Wagner’s research, the world is now much closer to a promising new class of Alzheimer’s drugs.”