News

Find updates on the work of our researchers here, as well as news about recent advances in Alzheimer's science, funding and awareness.

Study Sheds More Light on Abeta’s Impact on Alzheimer's -- Research Funded in Part by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

A new study, funded in part by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, is shedding more light on amyloid beta’s (Aβ) impact on Alzheimer’s disease.

If you regularly read our blog, you know that studies suggest that Aβ contributes to the early stages of Alzheimer’s (Aβ plays a key role in early synaptic failure which is commonly associated with memory dysfunction), but very little is known about Aβ's effect on the plasticity of dendritic spines.

 

The plasticity of dendritic spines is important because these spines provide memory storage and transmit signals across the brain, actions which require the ability to change and grow.

 

The study, led by Cure Alzheimer’s own Dr. Robert Malinow, found that Aβ affects structural and functional plasticity -- preventing synapses from growing bigger and stronger. In fact, if Aβ is over-produced, its destructive effects can affect thousands and thousands of synapses.

 

Malinow and his team discovered that a continuous release of Aβ is needed to prevent plasticity so even a short period of time without Aβ secretion is enough to allow plasticity to occur -- a positive sign if scientists learn how to stop the secretion of Aβ at synaptic sites.

 

Want to learn more about this study? Check out Science Daily for additional details:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091228152352.htm

 

Study Sheds More Light on Abeta's Impact on Alzheimer's -- Research Funded in Part by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

A new study, funded in part by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, is shedding more light on amyloid beta’s (Aβ) impact on Alzheimer’s disease.

If you regularly read our blog, you know that studies suggest that Aβ contributes to the early stages of Alzheimer’s (Aβ plays a key role in early synaptic failure which is commonly associated with memory dysfunction), but very little is known about Aβ's effect on the plasticity of dendritic spines.

 

The plasticity of dendritic spines is important because these spines provide memory storage and transmit signals across the brain, actions which require the ability to change and grow.

 

The study, led by Cure Alzheimer’s own Dr. Robert Malinow, found that Aβ affects structural and functional plasticity -- preventing synapses from growing bigger and stronger. In fact, if Aβ is over-produced, its destructive effects can affect thousands and thousands of synapses.

 

Malinow and his team discovered that a continuous release of Aβ is needed to prevent plasticity so even a short period of time without Aβ secretion is enough to allow plasticity to occur -- a positive sign if scientists learn how to stop the secretion of Aβ at synaptic sites.

 

Want to learn more about this study? Check out Science Daily for additional details:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091228152352.htm

 

Update from the Board: December 2009

Dear Friends,

Why should you care about Alzheimer’s research?

Currently, for every dollar spent on Alzheimer’s care, only a penny is spent working toward a cure. This is a bad equation for a disease that is estimated will cost well more than $100 billion in care (Medicare and Medicaid alone) in 2009.

 

Federal Funding to Support Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in 2010!

Earlier this week, President Obama signed a bill into law that includes $150,000 in federal funding to support our search for a cure!

Submitted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 by Sens. John Kerry and Paul Kirk, and Rep. Ed Markey, the funding will support the Alzheimer’s Genome Project and provide state-of-the-art equipment for research.

 

Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, expressed his gratitude saying:

 

We thank Senators Kerry and Kirk, and the late Senator Kennedy and Congressman Markey for their efforts to acknowledge our work to make Alzheimer’s a distant memory. Our goal is to find a cure within 10 years, and our research programs are the key to discovery. This federal funding shows our government is paying attention and dedicated to fighting this debilitating disease.

 

5.2 million Americans currently battle Alzheimer’s, but with a national commitment to cure this disease, we can get there in 10 years. We can stop this disease in its tracks.

 

To learn more about what we are doing to find the cure, check out our roadmap to a cure: www.curealzfund.org/roadmap

 

New Published Study Shows Russian Antihistamine Has Surprising Effects on the Amyloid Peptide: Cure Alzheimer's Fund Researcher Spearheading Research

Boston—A new study published in Molecular Neurodegeneration unexpectedly showed that a retired Russian hay fever drug, Dimebon, which has shown promise in improving and stabilizing cognition in Alzheimer’s disease, has the surprising effect of increasing the levels of beta amyloid peptide, a molecule that is tied to the development of Alzheimer’s. Previous work aimed at treating or preventing the devastating disease has focused on lowering levels of beta amyloid peptide.

Funded by Cure Alzheimer's Fund, the new studies on Dimebon, which is produced by Medivation, Inc., and now owned by Pfizer, Inc., were first announced on July 15 at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Convention on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD 2009) in Vienna, Austria by Dr. Sam Gandy, Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease Research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York NY and a member of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund research consortium.

John Cirrito PhD, and David M. Holtzman, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO, joined Dr. Gandy in his research. Dr Holtzman is also a member of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund research consortium.

The idea to study Dimebon and beta amyloid peptide arose from a clinical trial conducted in Russia that showed promising clinical benefits. The newly published experiments involved mice that carry human Alzheimer’s genes and develop brain protein structures that demonstrate the same characteristics as human Alzheimer's.

“This was quite an unexpected result, and there is still a lot of research to be done on Dimebon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a different result in chronic dosing with the drug. But I am amazed to see such promise from a drug that origin

ally had nothing to do with Alzheimer’s,” Gandy said. “Bachurin and Hung (of Medivation) and their academic colleagues have shone a light on something that might help us to better understand this devastating disease and how to combat it.”

Since 1986, genetic evidence, largely the work of Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Genetic Initiative, has linked every AD mutation to enhancement of beta amyloid buildup. Dr. Gandy’s research took a new approach to fighting that buildup, and, Gandy says, “The Dimebon story, however unexpected, does nothing to diminish the profound importance of amyloid in Alzheimer’s genetics.”

“Dr. Gandy’s work is remarkable, and we are lucky to have him as an ally in our battle against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

About Cure Alzheimer's Fund

Cure Alzheimer's Fund™ is a 501c3 public charity whose mission is to fund research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer's disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is characterized by a venture approach to philanthropy, which targets funding to specific research objectives. All expenses and overhead is paid for by its founders and all contributions go directly to research. The Foundation has no financial or intellectual property interest in the research funded, and will make known the results of all funded research as soon as possible. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a national organization with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh. For more information, visit www.curealzfund.org.

 

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Happy Holidays!

During this holiday season, we would like to say thank you for everything you have done this year to help us in our search for a cure. As you know, our ability to fight this disease comes from each and every one of you!

We are the only organization with a clear roadmap to a cure – and we are working harder than ever to cure this terrible disease right now, not years from now.

That’s why this holiday season, we launched our year-end fundraising drive -- $30,000 in 30 days in first-time donors -- and your response has been remarkable. It’s because of people like you that we are able to fund the research that will ultimately cure this disease – but there is so much more we can do!

This holiday season, please consider making a contribution to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund – there is no better gift than saving lives.

http://www.curealzfund.org/donate/30-000-in-30-days-to-cure-alzheimers-2

What we are trying to accomplish together is nothing short of amazing – a cure for Alzheimer’s now.

And, it is within our sight.

We have the roadmap to get there, now we need your help to fund it.

We hope you will consider making a contribution to our fight against this disease, and together, we will prevent the next generation from ever having to fear a future with Alzheimer’s.

Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday,

Tim Armour

President and CEO, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

 

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Receives Federal Funding to Support Promising Research on Genetic Causes, Cure for Disease

Washington, December 17, 2009 — President Obama this week signed a bill into law that includes funding to support the Boston-based Cure Alzheimer’s Fund’s efforts to find cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Submitted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 by Sens. John Kerry and Paul Kirk, and Rep. Ed Markey, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund was recognized for its work in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research and granted $150,000 in federal funding for state-of-the-art equipment for research.

 

“We thank Senators Kerry and Kirk, and the late Senator Kennedy and Congressman Markey for their efforts to acknowledge our work to make Alzheimer’s a distant memory,” said Tim Armour, president and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “Our goal is to find a cure within 10 years, and our research programs are the key to discovery. This federal funding shows our government is paying attention and dedicated to fighting this debilitating disease.”

 

The funding will support the “Alzheimer’s Genome Project” (AGP), part of the ambitious national research strategy set forth by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to identify the causes and better understand the disease. Time Magazine/CNN saluted AGP as a “Top Ten Medical Breakthrough of 2008.”  Approximately 5.2 million Americans currently battle Alzheimer’s and the clock is ticking as the Baby Boomer generation approaches the at-risk age group.

 

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund™ is a 501c3 public charity established to fund targeted research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer’s disease.  For more information, please visit http://www.curealzfund.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dr. Rudy Tanzi: Partnering for Cures Video

On December 3rd, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund’s Rudy Tanzi took part in a panel discussion on breakthrough science at the Partnering for Cures meeting.

Partnering for Cures brought together philanthropy, medical research foundations, and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in an effort to create collaborations for the development of new medical solutions.

The panel discussed the vital role philanthropic investment plays in supporting breakthrough science and Dr. Tanzi's presentation echoed this sentiment, thanking Cure Alzheimer's Fund for its support of the Alzheimer's Genome Project!

Dr. Tanzi's presentation focused on the importance of genetics and genomics in the search for a cure. He emphasized that technological advances are improving the understanding of the genetic mechanism that controls Alzheimer's disease and are making it possible to identify the complete set of genes influencing risk for this devastating disease. Tanzi emphasized that the more authentic disease-related genes we identify, the more rapidly and accurately we will be able to predict the probability of the disease in each person, detect the beginnings of pathology and prevent or delay it from taking hold, and treat it successfully in those who have already been stricken.

The panel also included presentations from: James Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO; Mara Aspinall, President and CEO of On-Q-ity; Stephen Friend, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Sage Bionetworks; Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Garry Neil, Corporate Vice President of Johnson & Johnson.

Want to learn more? Click on the link below to watch the complete panel discussion:

http://www.partneringforcures.org/descriptions/breakthrough.html

Letter from the Founders - Why You Should Care About Alzheimer's Research

Why should you care about Alzheimer’s research?

Currently, for every dollar spent on Alzheimer's care, only a penny is spent working toward a cure. This is a bad equation for a disease that is estimated to cost more than $100 billion in care (Medicare and Medicaid alone) in 2009.

Robert Malinow Joins Research Consortium

Professor, Section of Neurobiology, UCSD,

Professor of Neurosciences, UCSD

Shiley Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research in Honor of Dr. Leon Thal


Dr. Malinow’s research is directed toward understanding how the brain forms and stores memories. His laboratory examines how neuronal activity controls the strength of communication between neurons, at sites called synapses. Synapses are key sites affected by diseases of cognition. Synaptic plasticity, or the ability of the connection between neurons to vary, is thought to underlie the formation and storage of memories. It is thought that a detailed understanding of synaptic plasticity will identify critical steps that may be the targets of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Such an understanding eventually may lead to treatments that prevent the disease.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium is made up of leading Alzheimer’s researchers who serve on a voluntary basis. The Consortium helps guide the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Roadmap and pursue research that will lead to a cure.