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2006 Grant - Breteler
Molecular Interactors for Alpha-Secretase: Physiopathological Role
Monique Breteler, M.D., Ph.D.
Erasmus University Medical Center
2006 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
People who develop diabetes may also have a greater risk for Alzheimer's disease. This additional risk could be due to diabetes itself, but it could also be due to some other factors that contribute to or are a consequence of diabetes. Many of these factors fall under the umbrella of "metabolic syndrome," which, though loosely defined, is based upon profiles of obesity, blood level triglycerides, blood level HDL-cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting glucose levels.
Monique Breteler, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues plan to investigate the relationships among diabetes, metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. They plan to determine whether metabolic syndrome increases the risk for Alzheimer's and if so, which factors in particular may put one at higher risk. They also plan to examine the relationship between insulin and cognitive performance to determine whether the loss of insulin sensitivity that accom-panies diabetes may somehow affect the brain. Finally, they will look at these risk factors in the context of other risk factors, such as a variant of the apolipoprotein E gene, which has previously been shown to increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease.
Studies such as this require a lot of data if statistically meaningful results are to be obtained. Breteler and colleagues plan to use data from the Rotterdam Study, which has been collecting biochemical, DNA and autopsy information on nearly 8,000 volunteers since 1990. Berteler's study may identify new risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and better explain the relationship between it and diabetes.