The role of gonadotropins in regulating the production of Alzheimer's beta amyloid [ 2008 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Reproductive hormones and Alzheimer's disease

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Ralph Martins (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Giuseppe Verdile Prof Gary Hulse Prof Tae Ji

Brief description Currently, about 160,000 Australians suffer from dementia; of which 50-70% are Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases. AD is characterised clinically by memory and personality changes and pathologically by deposition of amyloid. Of particular importance in the disease pathogenesis, is a small molecule called beta amyloid, of which the overproduction is thought to be central to the development of AD. Changes in the levels of the reproductive hormones, particularly low levels of oestrogen during menopause or testosterone during andropuase, has been associated with the increased risk of developing AD and in altering the levels of beta amyloid. Furthermore, menopause and andropause are also characterised by changes in other reproductive hormones such as the gonadotropins. High levels of the gonadotropins have also been associated with the increased risk of developing AD. Therefore it is important to identify how these changes modify the risk of developing AD. This study examines the role of the gonadotropins in regulating beta amyloid levels in cell culture and in an animal model for AD. Furthermore, this study will assess, in the animal model, the use of gonadotropin lowering agents to reduce levels of beta amyloid. The results from this study will provide important data on how reproductive hormones regulate beta amyloid. Further insight into these mechanisms will provide therapeutic or preventative strategies for AD.

Funding Amount $AUD 400,278.39

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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