Project Title: Targeting tau protein to prevent dementia
Dr Tara Spires-Jones and her team at the University of Edinburgh are undertaking an exciting piece of research in order to investigate two culprit proteins known to play a fundamental role in the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, called amyloid beta and tau. Together, the proteins cause damage in the brain.
This research project is investigating the degeneration of synapses caused during the disease in a bid to protect the synapses and therefore preserve memory. It will also test whether therapeutic treatments to reduce tau levels in the brain can halt memory and synapse loss, providing new insights into mechanisms of synapse loss in Alzheimer’s.
Understanding the processes taking place during the onset of the disease is crucial, enabling ways of intervening and ultimately stopping the disease completely to be developed.
“The team are thrilled to have secured this funding, which will allow us to gain a much clearer understanding of the mechanisms at play in Alzheimer’s disease. There is still much we need to learn about the basic biology of Alzheimer’s in order to understand how to treat the disease, and the knowledge we gain from our research should inform clinical trials for much-needed new treatments. Our project will take a very collaborative approach and I’m pleased that we’ll be able to work closely with scientists from other institutions to move our research forward.”