Mount Sinai School of Medicine has just received a major grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and lead Federal agency for research on complementary and alternative medicine. This new grant creates a Center of Excellence for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Mount Sinai that will focus on Alzheimers disease. The new Center has been awarded an estimated $8 million grant over the next five years to continue its research and study of "age defying diets." There will be an emphasis on grape-derived compounds that may be able to delay or possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimers disease .
The new Center will systematically explore, through basic and preclinical research, the idea that a longer, disease-free life isn't necessarily only in our genes but also partly in our hands depending upon our lifestyles, said principal investigator of the new Centers research- Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Geriatrics and Adult Development & Director of Neuroinflammation Research Center in Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Protective roles of dietary grape-derived compounds in Alzheimers disease will be the focus of new research at the Center at Mount Sinai. Preclinical studies will be conducted to identify natural compounds extracted from grapes, known as polyphenols that might have a protective role in Alzheimers disease. Using mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimers disease-type neuropathology and memory loss, researchers led by Dr. Pasinetti will investigate the biological mechanisms by which these grape-derived compounds may affect changes in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimers disease and associated with cognitive decline.
NCCAM has just added three new Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to its centers program including Mount Sinais. The two other new Centers include- UCLAs Center of Excellence in Pancreatic Diseases and University of South Carolina Research Foundations Center for CAM Research on Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases
The addition of these centers increases the robustness of our Centers of Excellence research program and confirms our continuing commitment to rigorous CAM research, said Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D., NCCAM Acting Director. These multidisciplinary research teams will work to uncover new insights or novel treatments for health conditions that affect many people. The science conducted will be key to understanding what CAM approaches may or may not work and informing the integration of effective CAM practices into the health care delivery system.
It is an exciting program. We hope the research results from this new program will eventually open new research areas at Mount Sinai School of Medicine including involving the role of identifying personalized medicine in relation to lifestyle factors in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, said Dr. Pasinetti. We look forward to this opportunity to continue a natural compound discovery program, where we are able to identify novel natural compounds, primarily grape derived - for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
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