The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) has awarded a $60,000 grant to Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City for a study directed by Dr. Michelle E. Ehrlich, Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences.
Dr. Ehrlich explains: “We have identified a drug compound that is potentially useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Part of the problem in Alzheimer’s disease is that a sticky substance called amyloid disrupts communication between nerve cells. Ultimately, these nerve cells become sick and eventually die. The drug that we are testing in mouse models of AD has two functions which could potentially prove beneficial. First, it affects the pathway via which amyloid is made, and may help to decrease the amount of amyloid and thereby improve communication between nerve cells. Second, it increases the “birth” of new nerve cells, something which normally occurs only at a very low rate in the aged brain. We plan to administer this compound to mice that have been engineered to overproduce amyloid and that we have shown develop memory problems in tests specifically developed for mice. We hope to show that by decreasing the level of amyloid and simultaneously increasing the birth of new nerve cells, that this compound will improve the condition in the mice. This drug is being tested in humans for other conditions, so we hope that if there is a promising result in mice, that it can then be tested in AD patients.”
In addition to the monetary award, Dr. Ehrlich was given a quilt made by AAQI Board Member, Kathy Kennedy-Dennis of Houston, TX The quilt is called “Vital Work For a Cure.” It was presented to Dr. Ehrlich by quilt artist Paula Nadelstern.
This grant is the AAQI’s 15th research award, and the 4th given in 2013.
The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (www.alzquilts.org) is a national, grassroots organization whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research through art. It auctions and sells donated quilts through the Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt project and sponsors a touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer’s called “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.” The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative has raised more than $916,000 since January 2006.
Founder & Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative