Disease Focus: Dementia

Lewy body dementia, 𝛼-synuclein, and cell-specific mechanisms of neurodegeneration

Research Objective We will generate insights about mechanisms by which 𝛼-synuclein leads to neurodegeneration of the forebrain and substantia nigra, regions affected in Lewy body dementias and Parkinson disease. Impact If the proposed studies are successfully achieved, they will impact our understanding of Lewy body dementias specifically and 𝛼-synucleinopathies and neurodegeneration more broadly. Major Proposed […]

Develop iPSC-derived microglia to treat progranulin-deficient Frontotemporal Dementia

Research Objective Develop stem cell-based therapy to treat dementia Impact There are no treatments for dementia. If successfully achieved, this study will lead to a cure of a familial
 form of dementia in the elderly population. Major Proposed Activities Develop a robust human stem cell-derived microglial platform for cell-based therapy Determine short-term safety and efficacy […]

Stem cell models to analyze the role of mutated C9ORF72 in neurodegeneration

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an idiopathic adult-onset degenerative disease characterized by progressive weakness from loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Onset is insidious, progression is essentially linear, and death occurs within 3-5 years in 90% of patients. In the US, 5,000 deaths occur per year and in the world, 100,000. In October, 2011, […]

Neural and general splicing factors control self-renewal, neural survival and differentiation

Human embryonic and patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells have the remarkable capacity to differentiate into many cell-types, including neurons, thus enabling the modeling of human neurological diseases in vitro, and permit the screening of molecules to correct diseases. Maintaining the pluripotent state of the stem cell, directing the stem cell towards a neuronal lineage, keeping […]

Establishment of Frontotemporal Dementia Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cell Lines with Defined Genetic Mutations

We propose to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from skin cells derived from human subjects with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD accounts for 15–20% of all dementia cases and, with newly identified genetic causes, is now recognized as the most common dementia in patients under 65 years of age. FTD patients suffer progressive neurodegeneration in […]