Grant supports creation of patient-derived stem cell lines for Alzheimer's research

December 09, 2013

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 09, 2013 -- Researchers at UC Irvine's Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders have received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to develop and study patient-derived stem cell lines.

Led by Frank LaFerla and Mathew Blurton-Jones, the UCI MIND team will create as many as 40 sets of induced pluripotent stem cells to explore the underlying biology of Alzheimer's disease and test novel therapeutic approaches.

Few discoveries have as much potential to transform modern medical research as iPS cells. They're capable of giving rise to every cell type in the human body, including the key cell types implicated in Alzheimer's disease: neurons, astrocytes and microglia.

Because iPS cells can be generated from patients with a given disease, they offer a powerful new way to study the influence of genetics on disease risk and progression. UCI MIND investigators, who do not use embryonic stem cells, have pioneered this avenue of research specifically for Alzheimer's disease.

"The ability to reprogram cells from adult subjects to make iPS cells is a giant leap forward for science," said LaFerla, UCI MIND director and Chancellor's Professor and chair of neurobiology & behavior. "And we're excited that UCI MIND is at the forefront of using this technology in the battle against Alzheimer's disease."

It's notable that iPS cells can be derived from skin or blood samples. Anyone, even older adults, can easily donate the material needed. Additionally, by harvesting these cells from the patient, transplantation-based therapies could - researchers hope - one day be administered without the need for immunosuppression.

The work funded by the NIA falls under the UCI MIND iPS Cell Bank Initiative, an effort to create a repository of Alzheimer's disease iPS cells that can be accessed by scientists around the world.

The iPS Cell Bank, which will be part of UCI MIND's National Institutes of Health-designated Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, is receiving considerable support through the Keith Swayne Family Challenge.

In honor of his wife, Judy Swayne, who has Alzheimer's disease, Keith Swayne and his family have pledged $150,000 in the form of a challenge. They will match every dollar raised up to $150,000, bringing the total to $300,000 when the challenge is met. These funds will help establish and expand the UCI MIND iPS Cell Bank.
-end-
For more information about the Keith Swayne Family Challenge, go to http://mind.uci.edu/keith-swayne-family-challenge/.

About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving employment hub in one of the nation's safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it's ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It's Orange County's second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.

Media access: UC Irvine maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media at today.uci.edu/resources/experts.php. Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UC Irvine news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo available at: http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/grant-supports-creation-of-patient-derived-stem-cell-lines-for-alzheimers-research/

University of California - Irvine

Related Neurological Disorders Articles from Brightsurf:

Significant link found between air pollution and neurological disorders
Air pollution was significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias, in a large, long-term study of US adults.

COVID-19 frequently causes neurological injuries
Without directly invading the brain or nerves, the virus responsible for COVID-19 causes potentially damaging neurological injuries in about one in seven infected, a new study shows.

Neurological consequences of COVID-19: The 'Silent Wave'
Is the world prepared a wave of neurological consequences that may be on its way as a result of COVID-19?

New smart drug delivery system may help treatment for neurological disorders
A Rutgers-led team has created a smart drug delivery system that reduces inflammation in damaged nervous tissues and may help treat spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders.

Roadmap for linking neurological and locomotor deficits
Scientists capture highly-detailed ''locomotor signatures'' of mouse models of neurological disease.

Scientists replace malfunctioning 'vacuum cleaner' cells linked to neurological disorders
Malfunctioning microglia are associated with a range of neurological diseases.

Exploring the neurological impact of air pollution
Air pollution has become a fact of modern life, with a majority of the global population facing chronic exposure.

Mole-rats' failure to social distance offers clue for treating some neurological disorders
A new study into why African naked mole-rats shun social distancing in favor of crowded sleeping arrangements provides insight into what may be occurring in the brains of people with certain neurological conditions, including autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

Maternal hypertensive disorders may lead to mental health disorders in children
Hypertensive pregnancy disorders, especially preeclampsia -- may increase the risk of psychological development disorders and behavioral and emotional disorders in children.

Probiotic intervention in ameliorating the altered CNS functions in neurological disorders
The review aims at giving a comprehensive analysis of the studies performed on animals and humans and discusses the findings in different neurological and psychiatric disorders (Anxiety, Major Depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, cognitive impairments etc).

Read More: Neurological Disorders News and Neurological Disorders Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.