Tau Dissociation As A Therapeutic Approach For Tauopathy

Erin Congdon, PhD Research Foundation For Mental Hygiene


Karen W Duff, Ph.D. Columbia University Medical Center


Aggregated tau accumulated in tangles is a major feature of the Alzheimer's disease affected brain. These accumulations are thought to be highly toxic to neurons. Aggregated tau can be disassociated in test tubes by several compounds including cyanine dyes. We aim to test the therapeutic potential of a cyanine dye both in living systems and in living system models of disease.

Project Details

Tau is a protein that forms an abnormal mass of tangles inside the brain cells of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Tangled tau is thought to be highly toxic to neurons. Tangled tau in a test tube can be broken up by certain drugs. However, we do not know if any of these drugs work efficiently on real tangles in a living brain. We aim to test whether one particular compound that works in the test-tube is capable of detangling tau in a mouse model of AD. A successful outcome would pave the way for development of this compound as an anti-Alzheimer's disease drug.