Press Releases

Welcoming Ceremony for Glenn Caffery at 7 PM EDT at Windjammer Lounge, 321 Atlantic Ave, Westerly, R.I., Aug. 17

Posted: Aug. 16, 2011

Westerly, R.I.—After running more than 3,200 miles,University of Massachusetts Amherst professor and veteran distance runner Glenn Caffery is finally arriving at his destination of Westerly, R.I., on Aug. 17.

Dr. Malenka elected to National Academy of Sciences

Posted: May 31, 2011

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium Member recognized
for Work on Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Boston— Praised for excellence in his innovative neuroscience research, Stanford University’s Dr. Robert Malenka, M.D., Ph.D. has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. A member of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium, Malenka is the Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and director of the Nancy Friend Pritzker Laboratory at Stanford University.

Coast-to-Coast Solo Run to Cure Alzheimer’s

Posted: May 11, 2011

Distance Runner to Raise Awareness, Research Funding for Alzheimer’s on 3,300-Mile Journey from Oregon to Rhode Island

Seaside, Oregon – Setting out on a 3,300-mile run from Seaside, Ore., to Westerly, R.I. to raise money and public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, veteran distance runner and advocate Glenn Caffery compares the rigors of long distance running to the challenges facing 5.2 million Americans and their families who are dealing with the debilitating disease.

Rockefeller University Nobel Laureate awarded Cure Alzheimer's Fund research grant

Posted: May 11, 2011

Nobel laureate Paul Greengard, a Rockefeller University professor has been awarded a $100,000 grant by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to continue his groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in the elderly that currently affects 5.2 million Americans and their families.

Paul Greengard, Ph.D., will use the grant to continue his studies on identifying brains cells that are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. His studies could lead to the development of protective drugs targeted at those specific cells.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Awards Grant to University of Virginia for Innovative Research

Posted: Apr. 27, 2011

Boston - A University of Virginia professor has been awarded a $100,000 grant by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to continue his groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in the elderly, which currently affects 5.2 million Americans and their families.

George S. Bloom, Ph.D., will use the grant to continue his studies on a strain of antibodies thought to be able to recognize the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s.

Building Momentum Under the Radar

Posted: Jan. 10, 2011

Breakthrough Research, Strong Fundraising, Mark Fifth Year of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

Boston – A small nonprofit organization fully dedicated to Alzheimer’s research has quietly been making progress on an ambitious and aggressive research strategy for the development of effective therapies and discovery of an eventual cure for this devastating disease.

Taking a unique venture capital approach to philanthropy, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF) supports novel Alzheimer’s research that is aggressive, results-oriented, and ‘red-tape’-free. Bucking the recent downturn in charitable donations, the Fund raised a record $3.8 million in 2010 through individuals and federal and foundation grants, plowing all of it directly into research. CAF has raised $18.9 million since its inception at a time when the federal government budget for Alzheimer’s research and education has stagnated.

“Three families committed to wiping out Alzheimer’s decided five years ago that the ‘business-as-usual” model for Alzheimer’s research needed to be accelerated and founded Cure Alzheimer’s Fund,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of the Fund. “Our network of supporters has grown because the only return the founders expect is a cure and we have made great strides to bring us closer to reaching that goal.”

This year alone CAF-supported research has made significant breakthroughs in better understanding the nature of Alzheimer’s, a key to finding a cure and more effective treatments.  Among that research is the confirmation of a link between Alzheimer’s and Type II diabetes, tied to a molecular mechanism in the gene SorCSI. The research, led by Dr. Sam Gandy, Professor in Alzheimer’s disease Research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, could open the door for more effective treatments for both diseases.

Dr. Gandy also developed a new approach for studying brain synapses that has yielded valuable information about the production of Amyloid-Beta oligomers (clumps of the Abeta peptide), which is known to play a key role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Other research led by Dr. Rudy Tanzi, Harvard University Professor of Neurology and Director of Genetics and Aging Research, looked at the theory that Abeta is not entirely a “bad-guy” but in fact is part of the innate immune system.

Dr. Tanzi, who also serves as Chair of the CAF Research Consortium, heads up CAF’s cornerstone project, the Alzheimer’s Genome Project (AGP), which since 2005 has identified over 120 genes that contribute to risk for Alzheimer’s disease. TIME Magazine/CNN named the AGP as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2008.

“We look for scientists who are doing cutting-edge research and are willing to take a novel or even unconventional approach,” said Armour.

As science technology continues to advance, we believe we are on the cusp of a rare science moment, when intensive research could yield a real breakthrough for an Alzheimer’s cure,” Armour continued.  “With the first of the Baby Boomers turning 65 and experts predicting the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to skyrocket to 115 million in 2050, that moment can not come soon enough.”

About Cure Alzheimer's Fund

Cure Alzheimer's Fund™ is a 501c3 public charity whose mission is to fund research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer's disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is characterized by a venture approach to philanthropy that targets funding to specific research objectives. The Fund’s founders underwrite all expenses and overhead, and all contributions go directly to research. The Foundation has no financial or intellectual property interest in the research funded, and will make known the results of all funded research as soon as possible. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a national organization with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh. For more information, visit www.curealzfund.org.


CAF awards grant to UTHealth & UH for innovative research on imaging-based diagnostic and treatment

Posted: Jun. 2, 2010

Boston - (June 2, 2010) – Cure Alzheimer’s Fund recently awarded the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the University of Houston a $150,000 grant to fund innovative research on Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects 5.3 million Americans and their families and is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

Tim Armour, president and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF) applauded the project and noted its novel approach to the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. “The pioneering research being done at UTHealth and UH on Alzheimer’s disease is helping to better understand this devastating disease and could lead to better ways to reverse its effects and even find a cure,” he said.

The grant will allow UTHealth and UH researchers to accelerate their use of nanotechnology and new imaging techniques to study the effects of certain compounds of Amyloid-Beta, a protein that is commonly linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, on the brain. Most importantly the scientists will focus on the creation of new intravenous delivery mechanisms for compounds such as gamma secretase modulators, which are believed to have the potential to protect against the development of the debilitating disease.

“We’re developing nanocarriers designed to deliver therapeutic and imaging agents directly to the amyloid lesions,” said Ananth Annapragada, Ph.D., a lead researcher on the pre-clinical project and the Robert H. Graham Professor of Entrepreneurial Biomedical Informatics and Bioengineering at The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston (SHIS), a part of UTHealth. “The imaging agents allow us to peek at the diseased area and the therapeutic agents allow us to treat it. Thus the nickname Peek and Treat.”

If the drug delivery system proceeds to clinical trials and proves effective, it could provide enhanced imaging in patients using Magnetic Resonance Imaging at a resolution far exceeding current capabilities. It also could be used for the targeted delivery of a variety of therapeutic agents, according to the other lead researcher, Jason Eriksen, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmacology at UH. “These nanocarriers allow us to deliver a nearly unlimited variety of compounds to the brain. Since we can perform high-resolution imaging of Amyloid-Beta with this technology, we will be able to determine if a drug treatment effectively hits its target, early on in the disease process.”

Armour added, “Finding a cure and better treatments for Alzheimer’s can only be achieved by gaining a better understanding of the disease. Research is where it must start, and Cure Alzheimer’s Fund remains committed to funding researchers like those at UTHealth and UH who are doing groundbreaking work that could bring us one step closer to our goal to finding a cure.”

The UTHealth research team includes Eric Ambe Tanifum, Ph.D., and Indrani Dasgupta, Ph.D., who are both postdoctoral fellows at the UT School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.

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Cure Alzheimer's FundTM is a public charity established to provide funding for targeted research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports and funds research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer’s disease by 2016. Since its inception in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has raised more than $15 million, investing all of it directly into research. For more information please visit http://www.curealzfund.org

Cure Alzheimer's Fund Awards Grant to University of Colorado School of Medicine

Posted: May 12, 2010

Boston – Cure Alzheimer’s Fund recently awarded Dr. Nicholas Seeds, with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, a $100,000 grant for novel research on Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 5.2 million Americans and their families and is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.

“This research has the potential to unlock a new understanding of the causes and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “It could bring us a step closer to ultimately stopping or even reversing its effects.”

The grant will allow Seeds’ lab to continue research on neuroserpin, a protease inhibitor in the brain that is a possible contributor to the onset of Alzheimer’s.  The lab’s research on mice shows that the deletion of the neuroserpin gene can lead to a reduction of Amyloid-Beta, a protein in the brain that is commonly linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and may result in restoration of normal cognitive behavior.  Most importantly, Seeds aims to identify small molecules that block neuroserpin. The goal is to create Alzheimer’s therapeutics for future patient studies.

“With university budgets stretched thin, the Fund’s support is critical in helping further this important research on this devastating disease,” said Seeds, a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Colorado medical school.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has no endowment and passes funds raised directly to selected research. The Fund has no financial or intellectual property interest in the research funded, and will make known the results of all funded research as soon as possible. Over the past ten years the federal government’s investment in Alzheimer’s research and education has decreased. Since it’s inception in 2004, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has raised more than $15 million, investing all of it directly into research.

“Research is key to finding a cure and better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Armour.  “With the advances in technology over the past 10 years, great strides have been made in Alzheimer’s research and we are on the cusp of major breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund believes the pioneering work of the University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers and others could bring us one step closer to our goal of finding a cure.”

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About Cure Alzheimer's Fund

Cure Alzheimer's Fund™ is a 501c3 public charity whose mission is to fund research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer's disease. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is characterized by a venture approach to philanthropy, which targets funding to specific research objectives. All expenses and overhead is paid for by its founders and all contributions go directly to research. The Foundation has no financial or intellectual property interest in the research funded, and will make known the results of all funded research as soon as possible. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a national organization with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh. For more information, visit www.curealzfund.org.

About University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system.

 

New Approach Yields Exciting Results on Origins of Alzheimer’s Disease: Testing of New Drug to Block Alzheimer's Causing Abeta42 Aggregation Underway

Posted: Mar. 17, 2010

Boston -- A new approach developed for studying brain synapses has yielded valuable information about the production of Amyloid-Beta oligomers (clumps of the Abeta peptide) known to play a key role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience and funded by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF), the research of Dr. Sam Gandy, Professor in Alzheimer’s disease Research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a member of the CAF research consortium, and his colleagues, could uncover a new lead in the fight for prevention of this devastating disease.

“It is crucial that we understand how Abeta clumping is regulated, especially at the synapse, if we are to learn how to prevent, stop or slow Alzheimer’s pathology. Abeta42 is believed to be the first subtype of the Abeta peptide to oligomerize (clump together), and therefore most harmful to the brain,” Gandy said. “Now that the neurotransmitter receptor, ‘Group II mGluR’, has been identified as a source of Abeta42, we can find ways to reduce Abeta42 generation at the synapse. Lowering levels of Abeta42 would be predicted to hinder formation of poisonous clumps (oligomers).”

Gandy’s new approach is based on the use of isolated intact nerve terminals (synapses) from mice bred specially using human AD genes. Soong Ho Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in Gandy’s lab, has pioneered this approach. The new system aided in isolating a particular receptor at the synapse, known as “Group II Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor” (or mGluR). Group II mGluR selectively controls the formation Abeta42 at the synapse.

Studies have shown Abeta and its variant Abeta42 play a critical role in Alzheimer’s pathology. Previous research backed by CAF has shown that Abeta42 oligomers are formed at the neuronal synapse, a specialized way station where messages pass from one nerve cell to the next cell in the circuit. Disruption of synapses by Abeta42 oligomers is believed to underlie the loss of brain function in AD.

In unrelated work, a neuroscience bio-tech company, in the process of researching anti- depressants, has developed a safe and orally active drug that blocks ‘Group II mGluR’. In light of Gandy’s new discoveries, he and his colleagues are using the new synaptic terminal system to test the drug before moving on to test mice to determine if the drug can block Abeta from aggregating, which could be a leap forward in the search for preventative therapies.

“The development of this innovative approach by Dr. Gandy and his team could open up new doors of research on this devastating disease,” said Tim Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “It’s an important step in understanding and ultimately slowing, stopping or even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.”