University of St Andrews

School of Biology News Centre

item 78
[28-02-2008 to 28-03-2008]

News Item:
Discovery may assist future treatment of Alzheimer's

A St Andrews' researcher has identified a new protein associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The discovery may assist in developing future treatments for the disease, which currently affects around 700,000 people in the UK.

Neurobiologist Dr Frank Gunn-Moore found that increased amounts of a protein called endophilin I are linked to increased stress in the brain, which subsequently leads to brain cell death. Dr Gunn-Moore said, "Endophilin I is known to be involved in how nerve cells talk to each other. Our research has identified additional roles for endophilin I that link it to being an indicator for the progression of Alzheimer's disease." The research also found that increased amounts of endophilin I were an indicator for the interaction between amyloid beta, and a protein called ABAD. Amyloid builds up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. It forms plaques which can lead to brain cell death that causes memory loss and other devastating symptoms of dementia. The Amyloid/ABAD interaction has been previously identified as a marker for the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

"We know very little about the early stages of Alzheimer's disease before the amyloid plaques are formed. It may be that production of amyloid beta is the earliest event in Alzheimer's disease, so identification of early markers for amyloid beta would have strong implications for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease," Dr Gunn-Moore explained.

The research was carried out by Dr Gunn-Moore and PhD student Yimin Ren, alongside a team of international researchers at the University of Columbia, USA, led by Professor Shi Du Yan. The study was funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust and the Medical Research Council.

see here for further details
contact: Prof Frank Gunn-Moore


Biology News Archive:


Research Blog

Upcoming Events
  • CBD Seminar Series: Social and antisocial behaviour in parasitic wasps
    speaker: Dr Ian Hardy (University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences)

    building: Bute
    room: Lecture Theatre D
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Maria Dornelas

    After introducing parasitic, or ‘parasitoid’, wasps  of which there are many thousands of species worldwide, Dr Hardy will discuss species in which adult wasps fight each other directly for vital resources and outline what determines which contestant wins. He will then discuss some very unusual parasitoids that do not fight, but several mothers look after broods of offspring communally (termed quasi-sociality). He will offer an explanation for this behaviour.  Both fighting and non-fighting wasps tend to produce mainly females in their offspring groups. The reasons for biased sex ratios in fighting wasps are well understood but the sex ratios of quasi-social wasps require explanations that are novel among parasitoids.

    refID: 1430

    hide details

  • SOI seminar: Ecosystem approach to fisheries
    speaker: Prof Simon Jennings (Chief Science Advisor at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft)

    building: SOI
    room: Gatty Lecture theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Dave Ferrier

    Simon Jennings is a Chief Science Advisor at the Centre for 
    Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft. Through Cefas, he advises national and international bodies on marine environmental management, with a focus on issues relating to biodiversity and fishery-environment interactions. He is a former Chair of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Advisory Committee on Ecosystems. Simon is also active as a research scientist, and works with colleagues to understand the structure and function of marine systems, to assess human and environmental impacts on populations, communities and ecosystems and to develop and apply tools to support marine environmental and fisheries management. This research is not strongly tied to specific approaches, scales or systems and spans the continuum from fundamental to applied. Research outputs have led to new methods of marine monitoring, assessment and management. Simon also holds a Chair of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, where he works for one day each week to develop and facilitate research collaborations between the University of East Anglia and Cefas; a contribution to the strategic alliance signed by these institutions in 2008.

    refID: 1394

    hide details

  • SOI seminar: What have we learnt about ocean acidification and what is the way forward?
    speaker: Prof Jean-Pierre Gattuso (Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, France)

    building: SOI
    room: Gatty Lecture theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Dave Ferrier

    refID: 1392

    hide details

  • BSRC Seminar Series: High-throughput decoding of drug-resistance and virulence mechanisms in African trypanosomes
    speaker: Prof. David Horn (College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee)

    building: BMS
    room: Lecture Theatre
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Prof Terry Smith

    refID: 1397

    hide details

Biology, BSRC

all University events | submit an event