About the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation

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 team of researchers has 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:

Alzheimer’s disease is caused primarily by an abnormally formed protein, called beta-amyloid that accumulates in the brain. Dr. Greengard and his team ignited a new path of research when they identified a protein gSAP (Gamma-secretase Activating Protein), which regulates the production of beta amyloid. Also, the inhibition of gSAP is not toxic to nerve cells. Many other experimental beta amyloid-lowering drugs produced severe toxic reactions, which caused recent, large clinical drug trials to fail.

Because gSAP controls the amount of beta amyloid made by the brain, a drug that attaches to gSAP has the potential to fight Alzheimer’s. Also, gSAP works with other proteins in the brain in what scientists call a “pathway.” Proteins in this gSAP pathway are targets for drugs that lower beta amyloid.

Dr. Greengard and his team have focused their attention on discovering the identities of these proteins, and they are achieving success. So far they have identified 25 such proteins and thirteen candidates that could be grouped into categories of proteins relevant to Alzheimer’s disease. Seven of these candidates showed an effect on beta amyloid production in cells. Following their in-depth study, they have chosen one of the seven candidates for further research. We can only tell you that this candidate seems to be highly relevant to gSAP biology, and this new discovery represents a major milestone for our lab and, eventually, the scientific community and those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Our scientists are hopeful that further work on this protein will lead to a drug that will interfere with the disease process itself. Our goal is to see drugs on the shelf in the near future. We will be sure to keep you informed with our updated progress.


Dr. Paul Greengard's bio:

Director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Disease 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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