Selective Blockade of Mitochondrial Free Radicals in AD
Co-Principal InvestigatorsAdam L. Orr, PhD
Aging and neurodegenerative disease are associated with the accumulation of free radicals (also called oxidative stress) in the brain and other organs. Oxidative stress can damage cells and organs, promote disease, and impair brain function. We recently discovered small molecules that can block specific causes of oxidative stress without affecting normal cell functions. Our proposed studies will test whether these small molecules have therapeutic benefits in experimental models of dementia.
Our goal is to determine whether blocking specific origins of oxidative stress is a promising therapeutic approach for AD, FTD, and related dementias. In this project, we will test whether stopping the production of free radicals that lead to oxidative stress and brain damage can slow or prevent neurodegenerative disease. We will use newly discovered and highly selective blockers of free radicals that we predict will have multipronged benefits on neuronal and glial function in experimental models of disease. If successful, these studies would provide the first evidence that this approach is effective for reducing brain damage and inflammation, and might be effective for treating a variety of neurodegenerative disorders. These findings would open an exciting new frontier in the fight against dementia and greatly advance clinical testing and development of new treatments.