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2010 Grants - Sambamurti
Dietary Modification of Alzheimer Biomarkers
Kumar Sambamurti, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
2010 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
One risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is elevated blood levels of the chemical homocysteine, which is produced as a by-product of certain biochemical pathways. Consistent with its role as a risk factor, elevated homocysteine levels also increase brain levels of beta-amyloid, a protein fragment at the focus of research into the causes of Alzheimer pathology.
Kumar Sambamurti, Ph.D., and colleagues are studying whether treatments to reduce homocysteine levels also reduce the development of Alzheimer-like pathology. Using mice that have been genetically altered to express Alzheimer-like pathology and have abnormally high homocysteine levels, the researchers plan to study whether dietary restrictions to lower homocysteine levels slow the progression of Alzheimer-like pathology. These studies will improve our understanding of the link between elevated homocysteine levels and Alzheimer's disease, and they may provide initial evidence for a potential treatment for persons with elevated homocysteine levels.