DFF Grant – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology > News > DFF Grant

16 June 2015

DFF Grant

Grant

Associate Professor Morten Skøtt Thomsen has received a grant of 2,367,019 DKK from DFF for the research project: "Endogenous prototoxins to ameliorate cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease"

Morten Skøtt Thomsen

Morten Skøtt Thomsen,
Associate Professor, Ph.D.
Head of Section for
Systems Pharmacology

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in Denmark. Cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's dementia is associated with build-up of toxic beta-amyloid protein in the brain. Nicotinic receptors in the brain are essential for cognitive function, and beta-amyloid binds to nicotinic receptors, which leads to accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain and cognitive dysfunction.

We have shown that two proteins, Lynx1 and Lypd6 from Lynx family of toxin-like proteins in the brain can also bind to and regulate nicotinic receptors in the human brain. We have further shown that beta-amyloid and Lynx1 compete for binding to nicotinic receptors in extracts of brain tissue and that the levels of Lynx1 is decreased in animal models of Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, our hypothesis is that a combination of increased beta-amyloid and decreased Lynx protein leads to accumulation of beta-amyloid and cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.

With this project we will investigate the effect of Lynx1 and Lypd6 on beta-amyloid and cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease and in animal models of the disease, in order to eventually be able to remedy or prevent cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's dementia.

Congratulations to Morten Skøtt Thomsen!