Investigating How Stress and Aging Can Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

Stephen Ginsberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Ginsberg of the Center for Dementia Research was a key contributor to a paper recently published in Nature Communications (Inda et al., 2020). This research provides novel evidence of a pathological process underlying Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, and suggests a new potential therapeutic target.

The research team, led by Dr. Gabriela Chiosis from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, shows how stressors can alter protein connectivity in the brain, which in turn can lead to brain circuitry failure in disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers coined a new term to describe this phenomenon: “protein connectivity-based dysfunction” or PCBD. According to Dr. Ginsberg, “Many people who study Alzheimer’s are thinking about circuits in the brain. But there’s no clear understanding of how stressors due to aging and the environment change the way proteins interact.

Our research demonstrates that epichaperome formation rewires brain circuitry in Alzheimer’s by enabling proteins to misconnect, leading to downstream PCBD and cognitive decline.” The team further demonstrated a drug that corrected signaling problems between neurons, providing a promising new avenue for treatment.

Read more about this exciting advance in Alzheimer’s research in this Memorial Sloan Kettering blog: Study Reveals a New Way That Stress and Aging Lead to Alzheimer’s.