Project DetailsChronic and progressive dying neurons are the major feature of Alzheimer's disease that can best explain the clinical symptoms. More than 20 years of intensive research has implicated two toxic peptides generated from a larger normal protein as playing an important role in the disease process. It is not known, however, if these peptides are a cause of the disease or just an effect of some other problem in brain cells. Our work is designed to investigate the role of these peptides, both alone and in combination, as direct causes of chronic brain cell death. We will accomplish this by using a simplified genetically controlled model organism. We also believe that our preliminary observations indicate a new cellular pathway that may be responsible for Alzheimer's related cell death. We will thus try and prove this hypothesis using genetic and drug based experimental strategies in our model system. If this new pathway is indeed responsible for cell death in Alzheimer's disease our work could lead to the identification of new treatment and prevention strategies.