Navigation Links
Pioneers in Alzheimer's research: Research couple honored for its lifetime achievement
Date:7/16/2013

The research couple receives the "2013 Khalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award" for its role as pioneers in investigating the role of tau in Alzheimer's disease. The award ceremony was held yesterday (10:45 am US EST) within the framework of the "Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2013)" in Boston (USA).

Eva-Maria and Eckhard Mandelkow have with their team achieved significant progress in Alzheimer's research in the course of their studies of a protein called "Tau". It is the basic substance of so-called neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) - tiny protein deposits that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. In the normal state, tau binds the cytoskeleton of neurons, in particular, it stabilizes the transport routes, along which their substances are transported within cells. Very early in Alzheimer's disease, the tau protein however changes, detaches itself from the cytoskeleton and agglomerates.

Since the 1990s, Eva-Maria and Eckhard Mandelkow have analyzed this protein. Longtime, the importance of the tau protein in Alzheimer's disease has been underestimated. "At that time, no one would have thought that tau has such a significant role. However, we have pursued this approach because we have been interested in the role of Tau in nerve cells" said Eva-Maria Mandelkow.

In pioneering studies, she and her husband have shown why the tau protein lumps in the brain and which sections of the molecular structure are thereby decisive. These findings allowed the couple to examine the consequences of the aggregation of the tau protein for the nerve cells in more detail. The result: Modifications of normal tau destroy the synapses of nerve cells. This is for example shown by studies on mice. If the protein accumulates in nerve cells, these mice perform worse in learning and memory tests than healthy animals and develop typical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In the event that the production of the toxic tau in the cells is stopped, the synapses regenerate and the mice recover from amnesia. This observation shows that the disease process is in principle reversible.

Eckhard Mandelkow: "I am of the opinion that an effective therapy against Alzheimer is possible. Crucial, in my view, is that the treatment is started early enough. Many of today's therapy approaches might have failed on account of the fact that they are applied too late. Since a disease is usually only diagnosed when typical symptoms such as memory dysfunctions are evident. At this time, the brain is however already severely damaged."

Recently, the couple has examined 200,000 substances, in order to find an active agent against the aggregation of tau. Some of these substances were found to be potential candidates for drugs. Their effect will now be further explored.

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow studied physics and did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg on the structure of virus proteins. In a subsequent research period at the Brandeis University (USA), he already dealt with proteins of the cytoskeleton and then continued this line of research. Then he focused on the structure and function of proteins of the nerve cells, especially of motor proteins, tau proteins and their pathological changes during the neurodegeneration. He is the head of the working group "Structural principles of neurodegeneration" at the DZNE/caesar in Bonn.

Dr. Eva-Maria Mandelkow studied medicine, worked for several years in the clinic and then pursued a career in fundamental research. She received her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg for her work in muscle physiology. This was followed by research periods at the Brandeis University (USA), the Scripps Research Institute (USA) and at the MRC Laboratory in Cambridge (UK), where she dealt with proteins of the cytoskeleton. Eva-Maria Mandelkow heads the working group "Cell and animal models of neurodegeneration" at the DZNE/caesar in Bonn.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dirk Förger
presse@dzne.de
49-228-433-02260
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. MIT research: The power of being heard
2. UC research: Tracking Lake Erie water snake in fight against invasive fish
3. MIT research: Study finds room to store CO2 underground
4. UC research: Saving habitat key to songbirds survival
5. Research: Modern Portfolio Theory optimizes conservation practices
6. Research: Many programs to help diabetics manage their health do work
7. New research: Soluble corn fiber plays important role in gut health and calcium absorption
8. Influenza research: Can dynamic mapping reveal clues about seasonality?
9. Dartmouth research: The clocks are ticking and the climate is changing
10. PTSD research: Distinct gene activity patterns from childhood abuse
11. New Research: Modified Citrus Pectin - A Potent Anti-Cancer Therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control software, ... employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377487 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class ... across 15 countries. Read More About the Class of ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: