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2010 Grants - Chauhan
Gelsolin, Trichostatin A and Alzheimer's Disease
Ved Chauhan, Ph.D.
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., at New York State Institute for Basic Research
New York, New York
2010 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Gelsolin is a protein found in the brain that regulates one of the key steps in the formation of amyloid plaque, a hallmark feature of Alzheimer pathology. Using mice that express Alzheimer-like pathology, scientists have shown that treatments to increase gelsolin levels reduce the amount of amyloid plaque formed in the brain. However, the treatments used for these studies are not practical as potential treatments in humans.
Ved Chauhan, Ph.D., and colleagues, as well as other scientists, have discovered that the drug trichostatin A (TSA) increases the levels of gelsolin expression. They also found that treatment of Alzheimer-like mouse models with TSA reduces loss of nerve cells and improves brain function, consistent with the idea that TSA is reducing damage caused by amyloid plaque. Dr. Chauhan and colleagues have proposed to study whether TSA is an effective treatment to prevent Alzheimer-like pathology in Alzheimer-like mice. They will treat the mice with TSA before amyloid plaque forms, and examine whether the drug slows or prevents the formation of plaque. The researchers will also examine whether TSA slows or prevents biochemical and behavioral changes associated with the progression of disease. These studies will help to determine whether TSA should be studied further as a potential treatment to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.