University of New South Wales
A novel neuroprotective mechanism in Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation
Alzheimers disease is characterised by loss of memory because of dying brain cells and brain atrophy. In addition, proteins deposit in the brain tissue forming amyloid plaques. The amyloid plaques contain short protein fragments that are toxic to brain cells, causing them to die, a process called amyloid toxicity. Recent discoveries have shown that the toxic signal of amyloid is caused by changes of brain cell molecules (i.e. components that make up the cell). However, it remains completely unknown whether there are also molecules that can inhibit or even block these toxic signals. During his fellowship, Dr Ittner will assess a novel molecule, which may protect brain cells from amyloid toxic signals. Dr Ittner aims at finding out how exactly this molecule protects brain cells from amyloid toxic signals. His project will close a gap in knowledge of protective components in brain cells and will provide part of the understanding needed to design new ways for treating Alzheimers disease.