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Identifying glucose-dependent mechanisms underlying risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

Summary of project

Several risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease including diabetes and midlife obesity are age-dependent and have an obvious metabolic component resulting in impaired glucose metabolism. This can lead to altered brain protein O-GlcNAcylation, a glucose dependent post-translational modification. In addition, pre-clinical models of these life-style risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease demonstrate impaired cognition The aim of the study is to improve our understanding of how type 2 diabetes and midlife obesity increase the risk for developing Alzheimer’s. To do this, the project will:

  1. Determine the age-dependent impact of lifestyle associated risk factors on cognition
  2. Determine a glucose-dependent molecular signature of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

Techniques and methodology

Behavioural and cognitive testing, proteomic analysis, protein purification, SDS-PAGE.

Impact on Alzheimer's research

Alzheimer’s is a multi-causal disease that manifests in a common neuropathological and clinical phenotype. At the end of this study we will identify common molecular pathways from two associated risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s, diabetes and midlife obesity and so identify novel disease pathways and molecular mechanisms for future investigations into therapeutic interventions.

Entry requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in Biochemistry, Neuroscience, or Biomedical Science. 

Funding

Applicants will need to have their own funding or external sponsorship. A bench fee is required in addition to the tuition fees.

Supervisors

Title and name:
Dr Ritchie Williamson
Position:
Lecturer in Therapeutics
Email address:
Telephone number :
Work+44 (0) 1274 236073
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Title and name:
Dr Samantha McLean
Position:
Lecturer in Pharmacology
Email address:
Telephone number :
Work+44 (0) 1274 235809
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