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

e that problem is Jessica Wu, Ph.D., of Columbia University. She developed an ingenious way to test the tau protein's potential ability to transfer to and damage neighboring cells, eliminating many of the other factors that have confounded prior tests. By using microscopic chambers that allow growth and testing of isolated pairs of neurons, Wu can study the effect of a single sick neuron on a single neighboring cell. Such a finding would illuminate a new class of cellular processes that might be harnessed to prevent the spread of Alzheimer's disease within a person's brain.

As exciting as the new research is, AHAF officials caution that if Alzheimer's disease is to be eradicated, more research funding is needed. There must be a greater public-private partnership.

"These are difficult times for the Alzheimer's disease research community," said AHAF Vice President of Scientific Affairs Guy Eakin, Ph.D. "Finding government funding is tough now, and more researchers are looking to private funding sources like AHAF than ever before. But we can't meet all the need. We received 332 grant proposals, involving 700 scientists at 213 organizations. The projects we funded are impressive, but many promising proposals had to be declined."

Added CEO Haller, "We're proud of AHAF's unique role in fostering breakthroughs in Alzheimer's disease research. To date, AHAF has awarded more than $78 million to researchers studying Alzheimer's disease, including the early work of two Nobel Prize-winning scientists. But nothing less than a national commitment to Alzheimer's disease research funding will crack the code of this disease."

Haller cited as progress recent actions on Capitol Hill and in the White House. The executive branch is implementing a National Alzheimer's Plan, required under legislation passed by Congress, with a goal of preventing or treating the disease by the year 2025. A bipartisan group in Congress has also unveiled t
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Contact: Alice Kirkman
akirkman@ahaf.org
301-556-9349
AHAF-American Health Assistance Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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