The Neuronal Trafficking in Aging Lab, led by Claudia Almeida, was awarded a research grant by the Alzheimer Association worth fifty thousand dollars to recruit a new lab member to understand the impact of a late-onset Alzheimer Disease mutation in a specific protein on synapses.
Alzheimer Association had previously financed Claudia Almeida and her research team to study Alzheimer's Disease. However, the work did not proceed as planned on account of multiple constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic and technical difficulties encountered in differentiating human neurons from induced stem cells.
To overcome the difficulties faced by this research team, the American Alzheimer's Association selected this project for complementary financing, called "Rapid Funding." The additional funding will allow the recruitment of a junior doctoral researcher, thus reinforcing the research team. Team leader, Claudia Almeida, emphasizes that her wish is to contribute to Portuguese scientists' advanced training.
There is no effective treatment for patients with Alzheimer's disease. In part due to the lack of knowledge about the disease causes that develop after 65 in 99% of the patients. The genetic risk may play a role. However, it is still unknown how the genetic risk factors accelerate the disease's development. Claudia Almeida stresses that this funding will allow the team to "to understand whether mutations identified in the CD2AP gene in Alzheimer's patients are responsible for triggering the malfunction of synapses and eventually the cognitive decline of the disease" and "if so, the team can to design new therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease that have corrected the synaptic function of CD2AP".
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