Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer's Disease

Paul Axelsen, MD
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013
Alzheimer's Disease
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
Award Type:
Award Region:
US Northeastern
Paul Axelsen, MD

Oxidative Lipid Degradation in Alzheimer's Disease


Oxidative stress will be examined in animal models of Alzheimer's disease using novel radiolabeled compounds that are designed to reveal how the proteins that accumulate in Alzheimer's disease are induced to form fibrils and plaques.


We all need oxygen to survive, but oxygen can react with chemicals in the body to create harmful byproducts and “oxidative stress.” Dr. Paul Axelsen and colleagues will study the role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease. They will attempt to determine how oxidative stress causes chemical changes in dietary fats (including omega‐3 and omega‐6) that can damage brain amyloid proteins. These researchers will use special tracers on the fats to detect the changes in dietary fats and in the amyloid proteins of mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and oxidative stress. The results from this study may give ideas on how to fight oxidative stress in the human brain.

Research Updates

This project involves the biosynthesis of isotope-labeled fatty acids and their injection into aged transgenic mice to understand how these materials are metabolized. Both of these procedures - biosynthesis and aging a mouse colony - have long lead times (over a year), but are well underway at this point. When ready, however, we expect them to provide unprecedented and detailed insight into the root causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
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