Understanding the Up-Regulation of Neuroserpin in the Alzheimer’s Brain and Isolating a Potential Therapeutic Inhibitor of its Action: Continued

Funding year(s): 
2010 to 2011
Funding to date: 
$100,000

The goal of this project is to determine if there is a strong correlation between Alzheimer’s patients with high neuroserpin and high thyroid hormone levels (for both males and females).

Since our initial proposal in Spring 2010, several papers have appeared making the association between thyroid hormone levels and dementia. Thyroid hormones are associated with poorer cognition in mild cognitive impairment. (Dementia Geriatrics & Cognitive Disorders 30:205-11. Bensenor, IM et al. 2010, Subclinical hyperthyroidism and dementia. BMC Public Health 10:298.)

Interestingly, the latter publication only found a correlation among males. We have not assayed enough samples to see whether there is a gender difference with thyroid hormones and neuroserpin among Alzheimer’s disease males. In contrast, there are publications relating hypothyroidism and Alzheimer’s disease; however, this is not surprising since there are probably a number of insults that may trigger Alzheimer’s disease in different individuals.

Still, if we can establish a strong correlation between those Alzheimer patients with high neuroserpin levels and high thyroid hormone levels, treatment of their hyperthyroidism may be a rapid and effective means to diminish neuroserpin levels. Thus, such treatment may delay the progression and extent of cognitive decline, plaque formation and neuronal death in those individuals.

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