Michelle Lupton

Methylation-based biomarkers for prodromal Alzheimer's disease

Award: 
Celia Margaret Hudson Dementia Research Grant
Project Snapshot: 

Alzheimer’s disease usually affects older individuals, but hallmarks of the disease begin to be apparent in mid-life. Michelle Lupton will investigate whether chemical modifications of the DNA, called methylation markers in blood, are associated with AD risk. She will also test for an association with brain measures showing very early stages of dementia. These include cognitive assessments and the latest innovations in brain imaging which can detect early disease effects before diagnosis.

This project will test whether DNA methylation markers are an early predictor of whether a person will develop Alzheimer's disease. The identification of a blood sample based biomarker which is easily accessible will enable selection of individuals for drug trials and early intervention therapies, with an ultimate aim of preventing the disease progressing.

Where are they now?: 

Michelle Lupton is a Senior Research Officer at QIMR Berghofer medical research Institute in Brisbane in the department of Genetic Epidemiology. Michelle was recently awarded an NHMRC Boosting Dementia Leadership Fellowship and I work on genetic studies in Alzheimer’s disease, including the Prospective Imaging Study of Aging: Genes, Brain and Behaviour (PISA).