Study will provide important insights on how to design effective therapeutic interventions to mitigate the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
A McGill team investigating the progression of neuroinflammation and Tau aggregates in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has received $1.5 million in Follow-on Funding (FOF) from the Weston Family Foundation.
The study is being co-led by Dr. Pedro Rosa Neto, Associate Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry at McGill, affiliated to the Douglas Research Centre; and Yasser Iturria-Medina, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill and the Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital.
Through a previous Weston Family Foundation grant, Dr. Rosa Neto and his team found that inflammatory responses suspected to accelerate brain damage in AD play a crucial role in the spreading of Tau pathology across brain regions, leading to cognitive decline. Further details about this conclusion can be found in a number of publications, including Nature Medicine 2023 and JAMA Neurology 2023.
For his Follow-on Funding project, Dr. Rosa Neto aims to better characterize the natural history of these neuroinflammatory responses by conducting an additional three-year follow-up of participants recruited in his previous research grant. Clinical, imaging, and fluid biomarker data will be collected and analyzed using advanced artificial intelligence techniques, in collaboration with co-PI Iturria-Medina. The study will provide important insights on how to design effective therapeutic interventions to mitigate the progression of AD.
The Weston Family Foundation, through the Weston Brain Institute, supports research that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging (NDAs). The Institute provides seed-funding to high-risk, high reward ideas through its core “Spark-phase” programs. However, given the long development timeline to real-world impact of medical innovations for NDAs, additional investments are needed to scale successful projects coming out of the seed-funding programs towards clinical impact.
The Follow-on Funding program was created to provide additional funding to current or past Institute grantees to kick-start the scaling of innovations and technologies that have been previously identified and validated.