Thursday, December 8, 2016

UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging gets grant of nearly $1 million to test new Alzheimer's 'drug candidate' on humans

The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has been awarded a grant to develop new prevention treatments for Alzheimers.

The Alzheimer's Association awarded a "Part of the Cloud Translational Research for Alzheimer's Disease" grant to Dr. Linda Van Eldick of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, whose research focuses on brain inflammation.

“The Part the Cloud initiative is an essential part of Alzheimer’s Association research funding because new, more-effective Alzheimer’s therapies are desperately needed," Executive Director DeeAnna Esslinger said in a news release. "In the United States alone, more than 5 million people live with this disease. That number is projected to more than triple to over 13 million by 2050 unless ways to stop, slow, or prevent it are found.”

The release notes that Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more Americans than diabetes and more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Kentucky has almost 70,000 people living with Alzheimer’s.

Van Eldick's team is researching why people who have progressive loss of neurological function, called neurodegenerative disease, also have overactive and chronic inflammation that can lead to the brain cells not being able to communicate with each other and cause nerve cell damage.

Van Eldick's team has developed a new "drug candidate" that slowed the disease's progression in animals, and this $997,738, two-year grant will allow them to test for its safety in humans.

“Brain inflammation is now recognized as being an important driver of neurodegenerative disease progression, and we desperately need new brain-penetrant, selective anti-inflammatory drugs to be tested in humans," Van Eldik said in the release. "This new Part the Cloud funding will help us determine safe and potentially optimal doses of this drug candidate.”

The latest round of Part the Cloud awards supports four scientific investigations totaling more than $3 million. It is funded by proceeds generated through an annual benefit event, which has raised more than $17 million for Alzheimer’s research in the U.S. Internationally, the project has awarded more than $375 million to more than 2,400 projects.

For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at or call 800-272-3900.

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