Mount Sinai recognized as Center of Excellence for Research in Alzheimer's disease

October 10, 2007

Mount Sinai School of Medicine has just received a major grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and lead Federal agency for research on complementary and alternative medicine. This new grant creates a Center of Excellence for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Mount Sinai that will focus on Alzheimer's disease. The new Center has been awarded an estimated $8 million grant over the next five years to continue its research and study of "age defying diets." There will be an emphasis on grape-derived compounds that may be able to delay or possibly prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease .

"The new Center will systematically explore, through basic and preclinical research, the idea that a longer, disease-free life isn't necessarily only in our genes but also partly in our hands depending upon our lifestyles," said principal investigator of the new Center's research- Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Geriatrics and Adult Development & Director of Neuroinflammation Research Center in Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Protective roles of dietary grape-derived compounds in Alzheimer's disease will be the focus of new research at the Center at Mount Sinai. Preclinical studies will be conducted to identify natural compounds extracted from grapes, known as polyphenols that might have a protective role in Alzheimer's disease. Using mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer's disease-type neuropathology and memory loss, researchers led by Dr. Pasinetti will investigate the biological mechanisms by which these grape-derived compounds may affect changes in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and associated with cognitive decline.

NCCAM has just added three new Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to its centers program including Mount Sinai's. The two other new Centers include- UCLA's Center of Excellence in Pancreatic Diseases and University of South Carolina Research Foundation's Center for CAM Research on Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

"The addition of these centers increases the robustness of our Centers of Excellence research program and confirms our continuing commitment to rigorous CAM research," said Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D., NCCAM Acting Director. "These multidisciplinary research teams will work to uncover new insights or novel treatments for health conditions that affect many people. The science conducted will be key to understanding what CAM approaches may or may not work and informing the integration of effective CAM practices into the health care delivery system."

"It is an exciting program. We hope the research results from this new program will eventually open new research areas at Mount Sinai School of Medicine including involving the role of identifying personalized medicine in relation to lifestyle factors in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Pasinetti. "We look forward to this opportunity to continue a natural compound discovery program, where we are able to identify novel natural compounds, primarily grape derived - for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer's disease."
-end-
11 NCCAM Centers of Excellence:

Center of Excellence for the Neuroimaging of Acupuncture Effects on Human Brain Activity, Massachusetts General Hospital; Alternative Therapies for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School; Center of Excellence for Research on CAM Antioxidant Therapies, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University; Center for Arthritis and Traditional Chinese Medicine, University of Maryland; Translational Research Center for CAM Therapy of Asthma, University of North Carolina; Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Center for Mechanisms Underlying Millimeter Wave Therapy, Temple University; Center on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Stress Arousal, and Immune Response in Early HIV, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; UCLA Center of Excellence in Pancreatic Diseases, University of California, Los Angeles; Center for CAM Research on Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases, University of South Carolina Research Foundation; and Protective Roles of Grape-Derived Polyphenols in Alzheimer's Disease, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

To learn more about NCCAM's Research Centers program, visit: http://nccam.nih.gov/training/centers/

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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