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AlzheimersInAction: A multi-disciplinary approach to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the inflammatory response to amyloid-β in Alzheimer’s disease.

Project description

The inflammatory response to amyloid-β in Alzheimer's disease

The comorbid nature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the difficulty of viewing neurobiological processes in action in real time are major obstacles for determining what changes in the AD brain actually cause the synaptic and neuronal damage that leads to behavioural symptoms. As such, there has been no success in developing drugs that can cure AD, or other common forms of dementia. The EU-funded AlzheimersInAction project proposes to develop an in-depth understanding of how the first known stage of AD, an overproduction of amyloid-β, causes downstream pathologies. Researchers will employ a multi-disciplinary approach that combines cell biology, molecular biology, time-lapse imaging, computational modelling, and electrophysiology techniques in the versatile Drosophila melanogaster genetic model.

Objective

In addition to devastation for the patients and their families, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) generates enormous costs for the wider European economy and is an urgent health priority. There are currently no drug treatments that can cure AD or other common forms of dementia. This absence of therapeutic interventions comes from a lack of understanding about the biological changes that cause most neurological diseases. It is critical to fill in the gaps in our understanding of what biological changes are occurring during the early stages of AD in order to develop treatments that could slow progression or delay the onset of AD. The comorbid nature of this disease and the difficulty of capturing neurobiological processes in action in real time have made it very difficult to determine what changes in the AD brain actually cause the synaptic and neuronal damage that leads to behavioural symptoms. To overcome these difficulties, I propose a multi-disciplinary approach that combines and develops cutting-edge techniques in Drosophila cell biology, molecular biology, time-lapse imaging, computational modelling, and electrophysiology in parallel with exploitation of the powerful molecular genetics, versatile promoter systems and rapid development of flies. Specifically, throughout AlzheimersInAction I will use these techniques to develop an in depth understanding of how an overproduction of amyloid-β causes downstream pathologies, and how activation of the immune cells during AD causes disease pathogenesis. By the completion of this project we will have a greater understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the inflammatory response to Aβ in Alzheimer’s disease. With 10.5 million EU citizens currently living with dementia, and this value predicted to increase at an alarming rate of 2-fold every 20 years, the outputs from AlzheimersInAction will contribute to the research output, visibility, and economy of Europe.

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
Address
OLD COLLEGE, SOUTH BRIDGE
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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Region
Scotland Eastern Scotland Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 224 933,76