Wake Forest Baptist Health scientists have been awarded $3.9 million from the National Institutes of Health to determine if a procedure used to treat Parkinson’s patients can improve age-related cognitive abilities and counteract the effects of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
Under the five-year grant, which will be conducted in collaboration with the Medical College of Georgia, the researchers will study deep brain stimulation (DBS) in an animal model. The study is designed to test the effectiveness of DBS in improving memory and evaluate the duration of benefits after the intervention.
“Based on our previous research, we anticipate that deep brain stimulation will improve cognitive performance, but we also hope that it will prove to be an effective intervention for Alzheimer’s,” said the study’s principal investigator Christos Constantinidis, PhD, professor of neurobiology and anatomy.
The study is being conducted in nonhuman primates because they experience age-related cognitive decline similar to humans and develop amyloid deposits in old age, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s in humans.
Alzheimer’s research is a priority area of NIA due to the annual cost for care of Alzheimer’s patients in the United States exceeding $277 billion or $850 for each U.S. resident.
Read the news release.
Research reported was supported by the following grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
NIH Grant to Fund Study of Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer’s: National Institute of Aging grant 1R01AG060754-01A1.
Researchers Identify Novel Molecular Mechanism Involved in Alzheimer’s: NIH grants K99/R00 AG044469, R01 AG055581, R01 AG056622, F31AG055264, F31AG054113, P50AG005136, U01AG006781; also Alzheimer’s Association grant NIRG-15-362799, BrightFocus Foundation grant A2017457S, Wake Forest Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center pilot grant P30AG049638, Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Institute pilot grant, and the Nancy and Buster Alvord Endowment.