Benjamin Harrison, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Biomedical Science Department in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, recently received a grant of more than $315,000 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study Alzheimer’s disease.
There are currently no available therapeutics that can prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been more than 15 years since a new medication to treat it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The goal of Harrison’s project is to help develop effective therapies that target multiple facets of Alzheimer’s disease.
Harrison will work to create a better understanding of specific biochemical pathways involved in the formation of brain lesions, a major component of the disease, by looking at how these specific pathways can be modified to promote cell survival and maintain the health of cells that are typically damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.
The hope is to discover therapies that will prevent, delay or even reverse brain lesions. Moving forward Alzheimer’s disease treatments will most likely be a combination of therapies that will be adjusted as the disease progresses and modified for different patients.
Harrison’s grant will supplement the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function, an existing NIH funded program at UNE.