September 17, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Institute on Aging has awarded funding to build an interdisciplinary resource network for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and AD-related dementias.
The award, which is expected to total $7.8 million over five years, brings together The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine researchers with clinical scientists in the Pathology Department of the University of Washington, neuroscientists in the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch and structural biologists at University of California, Los Angeles.
“The resource network will address some of the biggest problems in Alzheimer’s disease research, such as the identity of molecules associated with neurodegeneration,” said Dr. Carol R. Bradford, dean of the Ohio State College of Medicine. “Collaboration across disciplines helps scientists consider problems from new perspectives, especially those that have resisted traditional approaches like Alzheimer’s disease.”
The project stems from the National Alzheimer’s Project Act of 2012, which calls for a National Plan to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. The plan is updated yearly and emphasizes the importance of accelerating efforts to identify early and pre-symptomatic disease stages at the molecular level.
The resource network supports this strategy by providing researchers with tools needed to reliably detect disease in experimental models and by raising the standards of rigor and reproducibility in Alzheimer’s disease research.
“By establishing the gold standard for their analysis and detection, and then distributing well-vetted samples to research laboratories across the country, we hope to catalyze advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of this devastating disease,” said principle investigator Jeff Kuret, professor in the department of biological chemistry and pharmacology in the Ohio State College of Medicine.
Kuret is joined by two Ohio State co-investigators on this project: Vicki Wysocki, a professor in the analytical chemistry division of the department of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences and Lianbo Yu, a research associate professor in the department of medical informatics in the College of Medicine.
An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia today. This number could grow to 13.8 million by 2060 barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure the disease. Unchecked by advancements in therapy, the impact of dementia is projected to exceed $1 trillion per year by 2050, according to a recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association.
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