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2006 Grant - Schnaider-Beeri
Effects of Glycoxidation on Cognition
Michal Schnaider-Beeri, Ph.D.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York, New York
2006 New Investigator Research Grant
Studies have shown that diabetes may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and the associated declines in cognitive function. One concept that has been proposed to explain why diabetes is associated with cognitive decline involves the formation and action of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs form from chemical reactions of dietary sugars (such as glucose or fructose) with the proteins and fats that are part of the body. AGEs accumulate in the body with age and are usually found in higher levels in persons with diabetes.
It has also been observed that persons with Alzheimer's disease have much higher levels of AGEs in their brains compared with people with no cognitive impairment. Because the formation of AGEs depends on a person's diet, it may be possible to reduce their formation by changes in diet.
At this time, it is still unknown whether AGEs are responsible or contribute to the declines in brain function seen in persons with cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease. Michal Schnaider Beeri, Ph.D., and colleagues plan to collect evidence from a large number of individuals to assess whether high levels of AGEs are associated with cognitive decline.
The researchers plan to measure levels of AGEs in persons not showing evidence of Alzheimer's disease. In addition they will administer a series of tests to measure each person's cognitive function. Using statistical methods, they will analyze whether AGEs levels are associated with lower performance on cognitive tests at the beginning of the study. They will also follow participants for several years to determine if their AGEs levels affect the rate at which their cognitive function declines during aging.