Project DetailsDr. Gouras is looking to better understand how accumulation of beta-amyloid within nerve cells may lead to the characteristic synaptic dysfunction and degeneration of nerve cell processes that occur in Alzheimer's disease. Recent evidence has indicated that the transport of the precursor of beta-amyloid is important in the disease process, and that nerve cell activity promotes beta-amyloid secretion. Given that accumulation of beta-amyloid may be quite important for the development of the disease, Dr. Gouras' experiments plan to elucidate the biological mechanism by which synaptic activity alters beta-amyloid, and to better define how beta-amyloid accumulation within nerve cells may be involved in the disease. The ultimate aim of this experiment is to help in devising novel therapies for Alzheimer's disease.