MAILMAN RESEARCH CENTER
Molecular Neuropathology Laboratory
Researchers in the Molecular Neuropathology Laboratory, led by Anne Cataldo, PhD, have found that while Alzheimer's disease (AD) eventually ends in damage to much of the brain, the disease process starts decades earlier, in individual nerve cells. The lab has determined that one of the first signs of Alzheimer's is unusually large compartments in the brain that process proteins, including a protein fragment called Aβ, which accumulates in the brains of AD patients. These experiments may lead to early detection and preventive treatment of AD.
Continuing studies will focus on the development of these abnormal nerve cell compartments and their relationship with AÎ² and AD risk factors such as cholesterol. Research such as this could lead to novel methods for the detection of these early changes in the brain and, ultimately, strategies for therapeutic intervention.