$3 million grant to study early biomarkers of cerebral amyloid angiopathy

A $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will support a University of Rhode Island research to identify early-stage biomarkers of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA).

Professor William Van Nostrand is noted for being the first researcher to purify and characterize amyloid precursor protein, the progenitor of the amyloid-beta protein that forms hallmark plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. (Photo by Kathleen Dooher)

The five-year grant was awarded to William Van Nostrand, Hermann Professor of Neuroscience at URI’s George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. The funding will help fill a critical research niche in early detection of CAA, a disease in which amyloid deposits form in small and medium blood vessels in the central nervous system, contributing to dementia and brain hemorrhages. Although the disease is common in the elderly, it often isn’t diagnosed until its late stages, when bleeds can be detected by brain imaging.

Biological fluid markers for CAA
Van Nostrand: “Early and accurate diagnosis of this condition has remained elusive. There is a need for biomarkers for early stages of disease prior to the presence of lesions detected by neuroimaging. The purpose of this project is to fill this void by developing and validating robust biological fluid markers for CAA.”

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Professor Marcel Verbeek at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, based on previous work by the Verbeek and Van Nostrand labs that identified potential cerebral amyloid angiopathy biomarkers in brain tissue. A biological fluid marker not only could potentially provide an earlier, more accurate diagnosis of the disease, but could also help guide treatment options, particularly in therapies where the disease represents a heightened risk of hemorrhage.

 

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Source: URI Today | June 28, 2018

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