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£200,000 Alzheimer’s research boost

The UK’s leading dementia research charity, the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, has awarded over £200,000 for major new research into Alzheimer’s disease at the University of St Andrews.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around 417,000 people in the UK.

A talented team of researchers, led by Dr Frank Gunn-Moore (from the School of Biology) and Dr James Ainge (School of Psychology), will begin a project seeking an answer to why nerve cells in the brain stop communicating with one another in Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Gunn-Moore from the University of St Andrews explained:

“We are investigating a protein called Endophilin I, that we recently discovered is involved in Alzheimer’s. We think it’s involved in the early stages of this disease because it affects the way that nerve cells communicate with each other.

“We have found that the amount of this protein increases in the brain as Alzheimer’s develops and this leads to the harming of nerve cells. We will be testing how and why this is happening.

“Our work will improve knowledge of what’s going on in the early stages of the disease and we’ll also find out if the protein could be a target for future Alzheimer’s treatments.”

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said:

“There are 56,000 people in Scotland with dementia and this number is expected to double within a generation. We desperately need to fund research looking at different ways to tackle this devastating disease.

“We are thrilled to be supporting this cutting edge study and we wish Dr Gunn-Moore and his team all the best with their research.”

This project will help further cement the University of St Andrew’s reputation as one of the world’s leading research institutions.

The University is currently seeking to build on that reputation with the construction of a new medical school at the heart of its science campus. This is a unique development designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between medics and scientists and create significant advances in medical research.

For further information go to: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/alumni/newmedschool/

 

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Dr Frank Gunn-Moore is available for comment or interview and may be contacted on 01334 463 525 or fjg1@st-andrews.ac.uk

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews Contact Emma Shea on 01334 462 167

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