Scientists know the difference between a healthy brain and one with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Alzheimer’s brain has accumulated a protein called amyloid-beta (pictured here) that kills the neurons around it.

So if you can prevent the accumulation of amyloid-beta, perhaps you can prevent or treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researchers at the Hope Center have a theory on how to do that: Boost the proteins that helps wash away the amyloid-beta.

Our bodies naturally contain amyloid-beta. In healthy people, amyloid-beta gets cleared from the brain. One way this happens is through the glymphatic (glia + lymphatic) system.

The glymphatic system is like a sewer for the brain and spinal cord — a drain that clears out the fluid and junk which shouldn’t accumulate there, in a coordinated system involving communication between nerve cells and support cells.

Aqp4 – a water channel – is a key component in the glymphatic system.  This channel is located primarily in the brain’s support cells to do many things, including controlling fluid flow out of the brain via the glymphatic system.

Scientists at the Hope Center have discovered a new form of Aqp4 in mice which appears to be located precisely at the glymphatic system.

Based on preliminary information about this new form of Aqp4, Hope Center researchers received a Pilot Project Award from the Hope Center to test whether this new form can boost Aqp4’s productivity in clearing amyloid-beta in models of Alzheimer’s disease.

If successful, this potential therapy could move forward to “pre-clinical studies” which are necessary before a technology or drug can go on to clinical studies.

This research is funded in part from your donations to Hope Happens.