3 05, 2024

Investigating Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia | McElligott | $110,000

Investigating Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia 2024 Award: $110,000 Psychiatric symptoms like agitation, aggression, disinhibition, and impulsivity, amongst others, are common psychiatric symptoms that may precede cognitive decline that is associated with dementia. This project uses a mouse model of dementia (the P301S tauopathy model) to mechanistically examine these psychiatric symptoms antecedent to cognitive decline. We hypothesize that we will observe differences in neurotransmission (both dopaminergic and glutamatergic) in these animals as compared to age matched controls. Furthermore, we expect to observe differences in responses to commonly prescribed psychiatric medications in these mice. By uncovering neural mechanisms impinged upon by tauopathy, we hope to aid in the discovery of biomarkers and development of therapies to alleviate the symptoms associated with dementia. Need/Problem: Behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of dementia (including but not limited to hyperactivity, agitation, mood disturbance, aggression) often precede [...]

3 05, 2024

Epigenetic mechanisms linking psychological stress with dementia risk in minoritized individuals | Zannas | $147,167

Epigenetic mechanisms linking psychological stress with dementia risk in minoritized individuals 2024 Award: $147,167 Dementia has an enormous impact worldwide and disproportionately affects minoritized populations. Such health disparities have been attributed to discrimination and other social determinants of health, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. This project examines the epigenetic mechanisms through which stress contributes to dementia risk in Black individuals. Need/Problem: Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) have an enormous impact on individuals and societies, with Alzheimer’s disease alone currently afflicting ~6.7 million persons age 65 and older in the US. Importantly, ADRD disproportionately affect minoritized populations, with older Black adults having an estimated two to three times higher risk for cognitive impairment and dementia as compared to older non-Hispanic White adults. However, the mechanisms underlying this health disparity are unknown and no reliable biomarkers exist to guide [...]