Cure Alzheimer’s Fund created the preceding categories in order to better define our goals and focus research dollars where they are most likely to find a cure as fast as possible. However, we remain open to supporting rigorous investigations of intriguing ideas and theories outside these categories—from unexpected sources or disciplines or the emergence of new knowledge—when our Scientific Advisory Board and Research Consortium believe compelling scientific data justifies doing so. The Individual Projects category is designed to accommodate any project we choose to fund outside our core areas; some will prove to be so important that they justify the establishment of a new area. Neuroscience, epigenetics, proteomics, machine learning: Alzheimer’s disease research involves some of the most dynamic and least-conquered areas of science, and we are committed to remaining flexible and responsive as we pursue a cure.
Pathway Cross-talks Associated with Sex and Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Although women may constitute some 60 percent of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the United States, we still don’t understand the reasons why. We are using data from a large national biomarker study called the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to study this issue more systematically. Their initial results suggest that among people with mild cognitive impairment, women may decline at faster rates than men. In addition, their preliminary results also suggest that the presence of amyloid beta and tangle pathology in the brain may have a bigger effect in women than in men.
Modeling Neuronal Aging in Specific Subtypes of Human Neurons by MicroRNA-Mediated Neuronal Reprogramming
The ability to derive and grow human neurons in tissue culture from elderly individuals will offer invaluable tools to study how advancing aging, the strongest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, affects neuronal properties later in life. My research team developed an experimental approach to convert (reprogram) skin fibroblast cells from human individuals directly into neurons without the usual requirement of reverting the cells back to stem cell stages.