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New grants for innovative Alzheimer's disease research announced by AHAF
Date:7/11/2012

Can a Diabetes Drug Fight Alzheimer's Disease as Well?

Steven E. Arnold, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, will conduct a Phase II clinical trial to determine if a common anti-diabetes drug has potential for treating or preventing Alzheimer's disease. Other research previously funded by AHAF has highlighted the diabetesAlzheimer's connection, recently linking diabetes in the elderly to cognitive decline. Arnold's study will examine the potential role of glucophage (brand name Metformin), the most widely prescribed diabetes medication in the U.S., in making cells in the Alzheimer's disease brain more sensitive to insulinand thus healthier.

Testing a Natural Substance's Effect on the Nervous System

The role of the common nutritional supplement glutamine as a novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease is the subject of research by Rutgers University scientist Karl Herrup, Ph.D. Glutamine is naturally produced by cells and is essential to the communication among nerve cells as well as other workings of the body. Long prescribed for lung cancer, bowel surgery, and other conditions including sepsis, glutamine has never been tested as a treatment for nervous system diseases. Herrup shows that in the Alzheimer's disease brain, glutamine levels drop. He will examine whether providing extra glutamine to mice would protect nerve cells and might indicate methods of reducing side effects of other drugs.

Charting the Transfer of Harmful Tau Protein

Alzheimer's research made news in February when two independent teams of scientists, one of them AHAF-funded, announced a discovery on how misshapen tau proteins proliferate in the brain. The teams' finding, that the proteins spread cell-to-cell, now allows scientists to focus on ways to target and stop this spread. Although the results have generated much press, confirmation of the observation has been a tremendous technical hurdle. Aiming to solv
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Contact: Alice Kirkman
akirkman@ahaf.org
301-556-9349
AHAF-American Health Assistance Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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