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Home > ARRA Stories > Federal Stimulus: Harnessing an Alzheimer’s Blocker
Federal Stimulus: Harnessing an Alzheimer’s Blocker

August 11, 2009

Regina Murphy, chemical engineering professor, and Jeffrey Johnson, pharmacy professor, are working together to disrupt a potential cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Beta-amyloid, a variant of a common brain protein, kills neurons and causes plaque deposits in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers, but another brain protein, transthyretin, controls or blocks beta-amyloid's toxicity in mice.

"What happens in humans is that that regulation gets lost or cut off," says Murphy, who joined the UW-Madison faculty 20 years ago.

With a $412,697 grant from the National Institutes of Health, the researchers will study the way transthyretin provides protection and why it seems to neglect that function in the brain afflicted with Alzheimer's.

This article originally appeared on the University of Wisconsin-Madison website. Reposted with permission.

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  • Neurodegenerative
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