CSO award to Dr Kathy Evans to study Alzheimer’s disease
A recent award from the Chief Scientist Office to Dr Kathy Evans will seek to understand the link between the gene SORT1 and Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition and the most common cause of dementia. The mechanisms that lead to neuronal (nerve cell) death in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are not fully understood, however, it is known that mutations (damaging changes) in the DNA of certain genes increase a person’s risk for AD. One such gene is SORT1, which is responsible for the production of a protein called sortilin.
This study will be carried out in collaboration with Professor Neil Carragher (IGC), and Dr Matthew White (King’s College, London). It will identify the differences between human neurons with mutant and normal SORT1 and test thousands of drugs to identify those that restore neurons with mutant SORT1 to health. In the longer term, we hope that this work will lead to the development of drugs that will reduce the risk for AD.
This study will increase our understanding of the role of sortilin in neurons. In the longer term it may lead to the development of drugs that may help prevent AD.