Alzheimer, a complex disease is decrypted


19:00 - 21:00

Grenaa Gymnasium, N.P. Josiassensvej 21, Grenaa

Christian Haass,
professor i molekylær biologi
ved Ludwig-Maximilians Universitet, München



Foredraget livestreames fra Aarhus Universitet (på engelsk)


The molecular clockwork of Alzheimer’s disease
No other disease is threatening our society as much as
Alzheimer’s disease. Every three seconds someone on
our planet is hit by Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050
we expect more than 131 million Alzheimer’s patients
Thus, we urgently need treatment to prevent a collapse
of our ageing society. The only way to reach this
ambitious goal is a detailed understanding of the
mechanisms, which destroy our memory. In all
Alzheimer’s brains, clumps of poisonous proteins,
so called plaques and tangles, are deposited and
kill our nervous cells.

In many years the genesis of these plaques in our
brains, was thought to occur solely under pathogenic
circumstances and thus primarily during aging.
However, Haass proved that the basic mechanism
involved in the constant generation of the building
blocks of plaques is active in all of us from birth,
which may explain the enormous risk we all have of
suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at some point.

Christian Haass will demonstrate that based on the
discoveries of these mechanisms, treatment strategies
have been developed aiming to slow or even prevent
Alzheimer’s disease. Such approaches can indeed
prevent the accumulation of plaques in human
patients, but so far they fail to stop the memory loss.
Is this a disaster indicating that scientists have worked
on the wrong mechanisms? Christian Haass does not
think so, he will rather demonstrate that plaque
deposition starts decades before clinicians observe
any memory decline.

The deposits in our brains slowly begin their deadly
job by killing neurons early on and by the time memory
loss becomes apparent, the brain is irrevocably damaged
with the consequence that any treatment comes too late.
Thus, we do not only need efficacious and safe treatment
strategies, but we must develop novel technologies to
identify patients, which are at risk to develop Alzheimer’s
disease, at a time when no memory loss is observed.

Arrangeret i samarbejde med Grenaa Gymnasium og
Science and Technology, Aarhus Universitet

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