Does Immune System Play A Role as A Potential Therapeutic Target in Alzheimer's Disease?

Alireza Faridar, MD
Houston Methodist Research Institute (Houston, TX)

Mentors

Stanley H. Appel, MD
Year Awarded:
2019
Grant Duration:
July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021
Disease:
Alzheimer's Disease
Award Amount:
$184,377
Grant Reference ID:
A2019083F
Award Type:
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Award Region:
US Southern
Alireza Faridar, MD

Characterizing Adaptive Immune Mechanism in Alzheimer: A Key to Therapy

Summary

Systemic inflammation might play a critical role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer disease. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the major immunomodulatory cell in the blood that might lose their function in AD. For the first time in AD, dysfunctional Tregs will be expanded in culture dish to restore their suppressive function and the impact of these expanded/normalized Tregs will be evaluated on AD pathology. This project could form the rational to apply regulatory T cell expansion as a novel therapeutic approach in dementia patients.

Details

Systemic inflammation might play a critical role in the onset and progression of AD. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the major immunomodulatory cell type in the blood. These cells might lose their function in AD, shifting the immune system response towards a pro-inflammatory state. Accumulating preclinical and clinical evidence suggests Tregs as a modifiable therapeutic target. For the first time in AD, dysfunctional Alzheimer’s Tregs will be expanded in culture dish to restore their immunomedulatory function. The impact of Tregs expansion/normalization will be evaluated for pathology in an AD mouse model. This project could form the rational to apply regulatory T cell expansion as a novel therapeutic approach in
Alzheimer’s patients.

About the Researcher

Dr. Faridar was trained at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, the most prestigious medical schools in Iran. After graduating from medical school, he received research training at Heidelberg University, Germany, and came to the United States in 2010 to continue his research fellowships at Mayo Clinic Rochester, and UCSF. His effort as a post-doctoral research scholar in neuroscience department at UCSF culminated in developing a new blood biomarker in Autism. In 2013, he joined the Neurology Residency Program at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute. During his residency and subsequent fellowship, he worked with Dr. Appel and Dr. Masdeu as his mentors who are the two world leaders in the field of neurodegeneration. He is particularly interested in evaluating the role of adaptive immune system in Alzheimer disease and its potential as a novel therapeutic target.

Personal Story

I am seeing my grandmother long struggle with Alzheimer.  She was always been a high-energy and fun-loving woman that no longer knows who I am. This disease not only involves the loved one, also the whole family. My mother, as a main caregiver, has to deal with chronic fatigue and must find her strength to fight the battle every day. So far, there is no effective treatment for this inexorably progressive dementing illness and new strategies are needed to provide hope for our patients and their family. I hope this project could provide the rationale to apply immunotherapy as a promising therapeutic approach to patients with Alzheimer disease. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to BrightFocus donors and supporters for making this
project possible.

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