How could cell-to-cell signalling in the brain contribute to Alzheimer’s disease?
Lead Investigator: Dr Michael Perkinton & Dr Robert Williams
Institution: King's College London
Grant type: Fellowship
Duration: 3 years
Scientific Title: Targeting amyloid-beta precursor protein cleavage in Alzheimer's disease.
What do we already know?
During Alzheimer's disease toxic plaques of a protein called amyloid-beta form in the brain.
Amyloid-beta is produced when a larger protein, APP, is broken down by enzymes.
It is possible that a drug to inhibit these enzymes could be developed as a treatment. However, the role of APP in the brain is not fully understood so the possible side-effects of such a treatment are unknown.
What does this project involve?
This research aims to determine the mechanism of how APP and amyloid-beta are produced.
Dr Williams is examining the signals sent between brain cells which might control APP and the enzymes that break it down.This work is using nerve cells grown in the lab to analyse APP and amyloid-beta production at a molecular level.
How will this benefit people with dementia?
Dr Williams hopes that this research will provide new targets for potential drugs which could block the overproduction of amyloid-beta in Alzheimer's disease.