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Research Grants - 2013


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Research Grants 2013


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.

2013 Grants - Moreno-Gonzalez

Induction of Alzheimer's Disease Pathology by Animal Consumption

Ines Moreno-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, Texas

2013 New Investigator Research Grant

One of the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease is the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, the main component of which is the protein fragment beta-amyloid. In people with inherited forms of the disease, plaque formation is thought to arise from the presence of excessive beta-amyloid in the brain. In noninherited cases, which are the majority, the trigger that starts the formation of amyloid plaques is unknown.

Ines Moreno-Gonzalez, Ph.D., and colleagues have observed that injection of amyloid plaques into the brain of healthy experimental animals can induce the formation of additional amyloid plaques. They have proposed a series of studies to explore these observations in more detail.

The researchers have found that aging cattle develop amyloid plaques. They plan to collect samples of such brain material and administer it to mice that have been genetically altered to have Alzheimer's-like disease, but before those mice develop plaques in the brain. These studies will determine if consumption of amyloid plaques by mouth or injection of it into the brain can induce Alzheimer's-like characteristics in the mouse brain. Dr. Moreno-Gonzalez and colleagues will also study the other main characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, neurofibrillary tangles, to determine if mice that consume or receive injections of neurofibrillary tangles develop Alzheimer's-like characteristics. These studies will help determine if consumption of diseased animal tissue can induce Alzheimer's disease.