The National Institute of Aging has awarded a five year, $10.3 million grant to the University of Arizona, Tucson to fund research on why women are more susceptible to developing Alzheimer's Disease than men are. Lead researcher Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton will be collaborating with other UA investigators, as well as with researchers at the University of Southern California with specialties including; neuroimaging and informatics, pharmacology, gerontology, and neuroradiology.
(Image of brain affected byAlzheimer's courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. Women make up sixty percent of those cases. By age 75 men have a 10% chance of developing the disease, while women have a 19% chance according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.
Why are women more likely to develop Alzheimer’s?
We don’t know. Researchers have found that fifty percent of persons with Alzheimer’s are positive for the APOE4 gene. They have also discovered that women who test positive for a single copy of the gene are at a greater risk for the disease than men who have two copies of the APOE4 gene.
Why was the University of Arizona, Tucsons chosen for this grant?
There are about 130,000 individuals in the state of Arizona living with Alzheimer’s. That’s two percent of the population. The Alzheimer’s Association projects a fifty percent increase in that figure by 2050, raising the number to 200,000. UA is also a fitting choice because it is home to the new Center of Innovation in Brain Science and the inaugural director, Dr. Brinton, has been researching the disease for over twenty years.
Dr. Brinton, professor at the Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute, also holds holds professorships in pharmacology, neurology, and psychology. This world renouned nueroscientist was recently awarded the first ever Alzheimer’s Association Sex and Gender in Alzheimer’s, or SAGA, research grant. This three-year $249,000 grant will fund Brinton’s investigation into how the risk factor gene APOE4 impacts the development of Alzheimer’s pathology in both men and women. She will also be testing the “efficacy of the regenerative therapeutic allopregnanolone to prevent the loss of myelin, a fatty material that insulates the nerve fibers and increases the speed of electrical impulses needed for brain cell communication. The breakdown of myelin has been implicated in the disruption of brain signaling in Alzheimer's.”
In an article for UA News Dr. Brinton, explains that this new study titled,“'Perimenopause in Brain Aging and Alzheimer's Disease'...will build on our discovery of the biological transformations in the brain that occur during perimenopause, a neuroendocrine transition unique to women. These transformations can lead to changes that can put the brain at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Our goals are to discover the mechanisms underlying the heightened risk of Alzheimer's in APOE4-positive females, and to translate these discoveries into strategies and therapeutics to alleviate a woman's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease." Currently, Alzhiemer’s is the only disease among the top ten causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
Upcoming Event at the University of Arizona:
The University of Arizona, Tucson is the state’s leading research university with nearly $300 million in research and development expenditures annually.
Biotechnology Calendar Inc. will be hosting the 15th Annual BioResearch Product Faire at the University of Arizona, Tuscon on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017. This event provides science professionals with the opportunity to meet face to face with laboratory equipment suppliers to discuss their needs and see demonstrations of the latest lab products.
Those interested in promoting their products at this premier life science marketing event should call (530) 272-6675 or visit the link below:
Science professionals attend for free. Save time at the door by pre-registering.