From the Bredesen Lab
The Bredesen laboratory continues its development of novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using a Systems Therapeutics approach. Rather than treating Alzheimer’s disease with a single drug—“monotherapy,” which has a history of many failures in AD—the Bredesen laboratory has developed System 1.0, an extensive combination of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutics, which target multiple sites in the network of cellular imbalances that underlie Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2011, President Obama signed into law the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). The first summit for NAPA will take place in May 2012. Dale Bredesen has been invited to NAPA to discuss new approaches to Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
The Buck Institute-Dominican University joint Masters Degree Program is now in its fourth year, and Gabriellee Cailing has recently joined the Bredesen Laboratory as a member of this program. She joins previous students Mark Orcholski (now at Stanford), Alex Patent (now in the laboratory of Dr. Arvind Ramanathan here at the Institute), and Sonia Flores (due to graduate in May); her research involves the use of stem cells to identify candidate therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease.
In December, Dr. Bredesen completed his term on the National Advisory Council on Aging, and in January, the Bredesen Laboratory completed its initial collaboration with Biomarin to develop protein therapeutics for AD.
Dr. Clare Peters-Libeu, along with others in the laboratory, published work showing that the structure of a central player in Alzheimer’s disease—the amyloid precursor protein (APP)—is altered in markedly different ways when bound by amyloid peptide dimers vs. higher order oligomers. This finding offers new insight into the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease.