Arne Ittner

A neuroprotective signaling axis in Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia Australia Research Foundation – Norma Beaconsfield Project Grant
In Progress
Project Snapshot

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and neither an effective treatment nor a cure are currently known. This is partly due to a gap in knowledge on how brain cells deteriorate in Alzheimer’s disease. The last decades of research have established that amyloid and tau, two factors that are common in Alzheimer’s, work together in damaging brain cells. Whether there are protective factors that reduce this damage remained largely unknown. Recently, we have found a protective signal that targets tau and reduces damage to brain cells and memory.

This project aims to understand how this protective signal works in detail, how it helps maintain healthy brain function, and how it can be boosted to prevent memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This study employs latest technologies in assessing brain molecules and their function, brain activity, and strength of memory performance. As a result, we will better understand how protective factors in the brain are connected and how they can be activated and harnessed to reduce brain damage and memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease.

Where are they now?

Dr Ittner is a team leader at the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI) within the Centre for Neuroscience at Flinders University, Adelaide.