2004 Awardees

Investigator: Junghee Lee, PhD
Project Title: Arginase, NOA and Motor Neuron Survival in Models of ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological disorder characterized by degeneration of motor neurons.  The familial form of ALS is caused by what are thought to be mutations in the enzyme superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1), but the sequence of events leading from mutation to cell death is not understood.  This study will examine the reciprocal regulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and arginase in a mouse model of ALS.  This study seeks to address some potential interactions between arginase and NOS that might influence the course of neuronal degeneration caused by mutations in SOD-1.

This project has resulted in a five-year, $750,000 VA Merit Award.

Investigator: Robert Stern, PhD
Project Title: T3 Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

This line of research is under the direction of Dr. Robert Stern, Associate Director of the ADCRP, and involves collaborators at several sites, including Brown Medical School, the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, and Yale Medical School. Future planned studies include a clinical trial of thyroid hormone in the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia. The rationale for this area of research is summarized in recent papers of Dr. Stern’s, including:

Davis, J.D., Stern, R.A., & Flashman, L. (2003). Cognitive and neuropsychiatric aspects of subclinical hypothyroidism: Significance in the elderly. Current Psychiatry Reports, 5: 384-390. [PubMed]

Stern, R.A., Davis, J.D., Rogers, B.L., Smith, K.M., Harrington, C.J., Ott, B.R., Jackson, I.M.D., & Prange, A.J. Jr. (2004). Preliminary study of the relationship between thyroid status and cognitive and neuropsychiatric functioning in euthyroid patients with Alzheimer’s dementia. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 17: 219-223. [PubMed]