Nav: Home

Funding for Ph.D. post in dementia with Lewy bodies research

June 15, 2016

Research at Plymouth University investigating a potential therapy for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), the second-most prevalent form of dementia, has received a boost with funding from dementia research charity BRACE.

The funding for a PhD post will support ongoing research into DLB, which is caused by tiny deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in nerve cells.

The research will broach new ground by investigating how a build-up of alpha-synuclein can fragment mitochondria. Mitochondria are small structures within nerve cells that help keep the cells healthy and working properly - they are, in effect, the power generators of the cell. Mitochondria undergo frequent changes in shape, size, number and location either through mitochondrial fission (which leads to multiple, smaller mitochondria) or mitochondrial fusion (resulting in larger mitochondria). A balance of mitochondrial fission/fusion is critical to cell function and viability.

The research team believes that mitochondrial damage caused by a build-up of alpha-synuclein is something that happens early-on in DLB.

This particular research project will for the first time explore changes in mitochondrial fission/fusion and examine the mechanism associated with those changes. These findings will be valuable in on going work to identify drug possibilities for the treatment and early prevention of disability in those with DLB.

The project is led by Dr. Oleg Anichtchik, researcher at Plymouth University and co-ordinator of the Alzheimer's Research UK South West Research Network Centre. He said: "DLB is thought to account for 15 to 30 per cent of all cases of dementia, so the discovery of an effective treatment could have immense impact on dementia as a whole. This current research project takes our work on DLB to the next level and we are extremely grateful to BRACE for it support for a PhD post."

Mark Poarch, BRACE Chief Executive, commented: "Dr Anichtchik and his team are at the leading edge of research into dementia with Lewy bodies and we are delighted to be able to support him in his vital work. The people who donate to BRACE are helping to make this type of research possible. Dementia is a rapidly growing problem and BRACE needs more funds to support medical science. We hope the people of Devon will get behind the world class research we are funding in Plymouth and Exeter."
-end-


University of Plymouth

Related Dementia Articles:

Latest issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia
Predicting heart disease might also be a warning sign for Alzheimer's; A new way to think about the environment and Alzheimer's research; Most dementia patients don't receive care from physicians who specialize in brain health.
What multilingual nuns can tell us about dementia
A strong ability in languages may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, says a new University of Waterloo study.
Brain changes may help track dementia, even before diagnosis
Even before a dementia diagnosis, people with mild cognitive impairment may have different changes in the brain depending on what type of dementia they have, according to a study published in the September 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Could marriage stave off dementia?
Dementia and marital status could be linked, according to a new Michigan State University study that found married people are less likely to experience dementia as they age.
Migraine diagnoses positively associated with all-cause dementia
Several studies have recently focused on the association between migraine headaches and other headaches and dementia and found a positive migraine-dementia relationship.
More Dementia News and Dementia Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...