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Ep. 39: Alzheimer’s Disease Research Part I with Drs. Diane Bovenkamp, Frank LaFerla, and Bruce Lamb

The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

Release Date: 11/27/2018

Ep56- Unlocking Genetic Regulation show art Ep56- Unlocking Genetic Regulation

The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

  How did you get so put together?  DNA is the blueprint, but it doesn't determine everything.  DNA gets turned into RNA, and then finally into proteins that help build your body and brain.  But there are SO many steps in that process that affect the final product- you.   The sum of these steps is a process called genetic regulation.  Genetic regulation makes sure that not all of our genes are expressed and turned into protein at the same time and same place- that would be a mess! This episode is all about genetic regulation by long, non-coding RNAs...

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Ep55- Fetal Vulnerability to Cannabis and Alcohol show art Ep55- Fetal Vulnerability to Cannabis and Alcohol

The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

Marijuana and other cannabis products are becoming increasingly available across the country, and while compounds like CBD have been shown to be safe and even helpful in adults, the side effects of cannabis products are relatively unknown when it comes to the developing fetus. We've known that alcohol causes birth defects for over 40 years, causing a condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and the greater spectrum of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders .   But alcohol isn't the only commonly used substance to cause birth defects.   Dr. Parnell's lab and others shows that...

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The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

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Ep 53 - How Bacteria Survive the Immune System show art Ep 53 - How Bacteria Survive the Immune System

The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

This episode is all about bad bugs.  Specifically, a flesh-eating bacteria strain called Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus).  S. aureus is a very common bacteria that's best known for becoming resistant to antibiotics, and becoming MRSA.  Bacteria and the immune system are always at war with each other.  Antibiotics can give the body the edge in this battle, but common resistance is making this much harder in hospitals and homes across the world.  Bacteria survive these antibiotics and the immune system is left to clean up the mess.  Currently, S. aureus is a major...

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Ep 52 - Diabetes and Placental Epigenetics show art Ep 52 - Diabetes and Placental Epigenetics

The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

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The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

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Ep.50 - Alzheimer's disease FAQ show art Ep.50 - Alzheimer's disease FAQ

The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

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The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

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The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

Tayler is a PhD candidate in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. Her research focuses on the pharmacology and toxicology of supposed ‘fertility-boosting’ herbal supplements on sperm cells, using flow cytometry to elucidate their effects at a cellular level. She is also a science communicator in her spare time, and posts regular pharmacology-based series online. You can find her on Instagram at Link to a good general review on oxidative stress: Link to a review of herbal medicine safety issues:

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The Straight from a Scientist Podcast

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More Episodes

This week’s episode marks the 1st of a series focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research.  All episodes were recorded in San Diego, CA, where Connor Wander attended the BrightFocus Alzheimer’s Disease Fast Track conference, followed by the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is a well-known conference, drawing 28 thousand people annually.  In contrast, AD Fast Track is a much smaller conference put on by BrightFocus, a foundation built to support AD and glaucoma research and awareness.  Many of the speakers at the event were directly supported by BrightFocus (Lamb, Brinton, Head, Grinberg).

Alzheimer’s disease research is reinventing itself in the wake of past failures.  New understandings of disease complexity, paired with recent advances in technology and a renewed surge in funding for research fuels new hope for a cure or treatment.  Yet we aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket.  This series will explore Alzheimer’s disease research and the variety of research strategies with the common goal of curing Alzheimer’s disease.

 

In This Episode

Listen in to hear an overview of the BrightFocus AD Fast Track conference and current standing of Alzheimer’s disease research.  We also focus on animal models of Alzheimer’s disease.

@6:07 Dr. Diane Bovenkamp introduces BrightFocus and the AD Fast Track Conference.

@21:00 Dr. Frank LaFerla breaks down amyloid beta and tau in Alzheimer's disease research.

@37:31 Dr. Bruce T. Lamb describes the MODEL-AD project, which seeks to better simulate Alzheimer's disease in animal models.

Special thanks to all podcasts guests and to Martha and Rachel from BrightFocus!

 Dr. Diane Bovenkamp and Connor recording the first segment in the AD Fast Track Conference room

 

More Information

Listen to a brief summary of Alzheimer’s disease signs and symptoms with Dr. Diane Bovenkamp.

Find more quick chats on the BrightFocus Foundation website, including some tips and support for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers.

The amyloid cascade hypothesis is commonly discussed in Episode 41: Alzheimer’s disease roundtable.

Listen to a discussion of Amyloid beta’s putative role as an ancient ant-microbial peptide in the brain in Episode 13: Amyloid Beta: Villain, or Hero in Alzheimer’s Disease?

This possible role for Amyloid beta is important in the Amyloid cascade hypothesis; the idea that amyloid beta is the first thing to go wrong in AD, and triggers a chain reaction causing tau to aggregate and kill neurons.  This is a commonly discussed hypothesis in Alzheimer’s research, and is often referenced in this series.

Learn more with a detailed infographic on the Amyloid cascade hypothesis.  It’s in a perspective piece discussing the recent developments in AD research by Biogen, and Eisai, two companies working on Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics like such as anti-amyloid or anti-tau antibodies, which have shown some promise in AD clinical trials.

For more in-depth analysis of developments in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, check out Alzforum.org for Alzheimer’s disease background reading.

 

 

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