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2012 Grants - Ginsberg
Effect of Caloric Restriction on Septohippocampal Neurons in Alzheimer's Disease
Stephen D. Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Orangeburg, New York
2012 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Specialized cells, called nerve cells, in certain regions of the brain are especially vulnerable to degeneration in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. One such vulnerable region includes nerve cells known as septohippocampal cells. Some of the biochemical pathways causing the death of these cells have been characterized. Furthermore, studies have found evidence that restriction of food intake reduces the activity of one of these biochemical pathways, potentially preserving the cells.
Stephen D. Ginsberg, Ph.D., and colleagues have been studying the septohippocampal system of the brain. They have proposed to study how a restricted-calorie diet affects the activity of certain genes in these cells. The researchers plan to perform these studies in mice that have been genetically altered to express Alzheimer's-like characteristics. They will focus on the activity of genes involved in the biochemical pathways of Alzheimer's-related degeneration. These studies will characterize genetic and biochemical changes related to nerve cell degeneration, and how the activity of those pathways is affected by dietary restriction. The results may yield new insights into biochemical pathways involved in preservation of vulnerable nerve cells.