Dr. Brian MacVicar & Dr. Freda Miller
Project Title: Therapeutic targets for alleviating neuroinflammation in Alzheimer disease
Grant Name: 2022 CLEAR Operating Grant
Grant Duration: 2022-2024 (two years)
Many elderly people don’t have dementia although their brains show changes that are characteristic of Alzheimer disease. Why is this so? It is believed that a key difference between those who suffer from Alzheimer disease and those who don’t is brain inflammation, an idea that will be tested in this research. Stem cell-based approaches will be explored by growing human brain cells in a dish to uncover how and why certain aspects of brain inflammation triggers the changes that occur in Alzheimer disease and how this causes or exacerbates brain damage.
The study will focus on the brain’s immune cells, the microglia, and on a key type of brain support cell, astrocytes. The interactions between these two important brain cell types will be studied in addition to their involvement in brain inflammation using new technologies, including advanced genetic analysis and innovative microscopy approaches. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to identify new therapeutic targets that could dampen or prevent brain inflammation, positively impacting Alzheimer disease.