To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.
2010 Grants - Gong
Targeting Insulin Signaling for Treating Neurofibrillary Degeneration in Alzheimer's Disease
Cheng-Xin Gong, M.D.
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. at New York State Institute for Basic Research
New York, New York
2010 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Although insulin is widely known to be important for regulating blood sugar, it also plays important roles in the brain, regulating the uptake and use of energy. Insulin signaling in the brain is known to be lower in persons with Alzheimer's disease compared to healthy persons of the same age. However, it is not known how declines in insulin signaling affect the development of disease, or whether restoring insulin signaling can improve brain function.
Cheng-Xin Gong, M.D., and colleagues are studying insulin signaling to further understand its role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Using mice that have been genetically altered to express Alzheimer-like pathology, Dr. Gong and colleagues plan to study how loss of insulin signaling contributes to the development of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer pathology. They will also treat the mice with drugs known to increase sensitivity to insulin, and then determine if such treatment improves insulin signaling in the brain, reduces the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, and improves brain function. These studies will advance our understanding of the link between Alzheimer's disease and the loss of insulin function in the brain, and they may suggest treatment approaches to reduce or prevent the formation of neurofibrillary tangles.