This is the sixth year in a row that the Fisher Center has launched a summer campaign. Once again, 100% of the money we raise for the “Alzheimer’s Challenge” from now until September 2, 2014 will go directly to Alzheimer’s research.
The scientists we fund under the direction of Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard are on the brink of exciting new discoveries. Dr. Greengard has authored almost 1,000 scientific publications. And when he gets excited about a new discovery – so do we. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It robs it victims of their memories in what should be the golden years of their lives.
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation is a leading source of funding for Alzheimer’s research. We seek to understand the causes of, discover a cure for, and improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. The Foundation’s internationally renowned team of scientists, under the direction of Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard, has been at the forefront of this groundbreaking research toward a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Paul Greengard, and his researchers have published several major research findings in the last year that represent significant accomplishments in the quest for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Researching a Cure
Your efforts will fund the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research at The Rockefeller University, under the direction of Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard. Dr. Greengard and his team of over 50 researchers are making breakthroughs and pursuing the latest, most promising research available.
We recently sat down with Dr. Jean-Pierre Roussarie, a Senior Research Associate at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research at The Rockefeller University, and want to share some of his discoveries with you. This is just one of many exciting new projects the lab is working on. Dr. Jean-Pierre Roussarie says,
“We know more and more about the cascade of events that occur during the course of Alzheimer’s Disease, and in particular how the amyloid beta peptide is over-produced, how it aggregates, and how it causes neurons to malfunction and then to die. But these events do not occur everywhere inside the brain. They occur in very specific parts of the brain, areas involved in new memory formation. We even know that within these specific brain regions, the disease affects only certain types of neurons. One aspect of the disease that is far less well known is why these types of neurons are so prone to getting sick. They do not get sick in other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease, so they are not inherently fragile. They are just very specifically vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.
“Our laboratory invented and now routinely uses a technology called bacTRAP with which we can analyze which protein is present and in which quantity in any neuron type. We are using it now to understand what neurons that are very vulnerable to the disease are made of. If you do not understand what constitutes a particular neuron, you will never be able to pinpoint the reason why it dies. So we are trying to list every protein present in vulnerable neurons. To have a reference we can compare vulnerable neurons to, we selected a few types of neurons that are very resistant to the disease: even in very late stages of Alzheimer’s, these resistant neurons are intact, survive, and function normally. There should be an Achilles’ heel in vulnerable neurons that does not exist in resistant neurons, and we want to discover it. We are trying to pinpoint the fragility of these neurons, because we want to develop drugs that are going to compensate for vulnerable neurons’ weaknesses.”
Dr. Paul Greengard’s bio:
Director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research at The Rockefeller University
Dr. Paul Greengard was awarded the year 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work in delineating how neurons communicate with one another in the brain. During a half-century of research, he has been lauded for his singular contribution to our understanding of the complex signaling processes that occur within each of the 100 billion or more nerve cells in the human brain. He is the Vincent Astor Professor at The Rockefeller University and Director of the Fisher Center laboratory. Dr. Greengard is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received more than 50 awards and honors throughout his career. He has authored nearly 1000 scientific publications.
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