Research Updates

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.”

Relationship Between the APOE Genotype and Alzheimer's Disease

A meeting of the minds

One of the most important, outstanding genetic questions about Alzheimer’s disease is the relationship between the APOE genotype and the risk associated with the disease. To better understand this topic and speed progress, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF) sponsored a meeting in February 2010 to explore this issue. The body of biological knowledge regarding how and why APOE likely is linked with AD was discussed in detail by members of the CAF Research Consortium and Cheryl Wellington, Ph.D., University of British Columbia; Michael Brown, M.D., University of Texas; Karl Weisgraber, Ph.D., Gladstone Institute; Alan Tall, Ph.D., Columbia University; and Joachim Herz, M.D., University of Texas, whose record of research includes valuable insights into this relationship. The meeting led to some important, newly funded research, including a project by David Holtzman, M.D., in his lab at Washington University in St. Louis.

Peek and Treat: A Pioneering Collaborative Research Project

Despite advances in understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, advancements in its diagnosis and treatment are limited. To address this key need, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the University of Houston(UH) have been awarded a $150,000 grant from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to pursue innovative work.

APOE and Alzheimer’s Disease

Co-chaired by three members of CAF’s Research Consortium—Drs. David Holtzman, Sam Sisodia and Rudy Tanzi—participants included all the other members of the Research Consortium (except Virginia Lee, who had a prior commitment) and several invited guests whose records of research include valuable insights into this relationship. The guests were Michael Brown, MD, and Joachim Herz, MD, Southwestern Medical School; Alan Tall, MD, Columbia University; Karl Weisgraber, Ph.D., Gladstone Institute, University of California, San Francisco; and Cheryl Wellington, Ph.D., University of British Columbia.

Abeta May Have Beneficial Function as Part of the Innate Immune System

The Amyloid-beta protein is a key contributor to Alzheimer’s pathology and the prevailing theory has been that Abeta has no function other than as a waste product created by the brain. It is acknowledged by most researchers to be a key “bad guy” in Alzheimer’s pathology.