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Cognitive decline during aging and Alzheimer's: Biomarkers and therapeutic targets

Year:
2010
Duration:
67 months
Approved budget:
$4,632,232.60
Researchers:
Professor Cliff Abraham
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Programme
Lay summary
Alzheimer's disease and other dementias currently afflict over 40,000 New Zealanders. Given our aging population, there will be an exponential increase in these disorders unless new therapeutic developments are made. Addressing this problem requires both new treatment strategies and an ability to identify those at risk so treatments can be delivered at an early stage. Our research programme tackles both issues. We will study the mechanisms of action and therapeutic effectiveness of neuroprotective molecules in animal models of Alzheimer's disease, using multidisciplinary approaches. We will also catalogue neurochemical correlates of Alzheimer's disease using post-mortem brain tissue, and will search for patterns of molecules in the blood of healthy elderly that predict the development of later dementia. We aim to identify markers that will be useful for diagnostic tests of early-stage Alzheimer's, while providing biomedical evidence for the potential efficacy of new therapeutic agents for treatment of the disease.