Alzheimer’s Disease Center Research | NYU Langone Health

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Alzheimer’s Disease Center Alzheimer’s Disease Center Research

Alzheimer’s Disease Center Research

Research at NYU Langone’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center has led to many discoveries in the field of brain aging and neurocognitive disorders. Through clinical trials and research studies, many of our investigators study areas of health that affect people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

Wisniewski Lab

The Conformational Disorders Lab, led by Thomas M. Wisniewski, MD, focuses on better understanding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and prion-related diseases. In addition, the lab works on other neurological conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and stroke. This work has led to more than 210 peer-reviewed publications. The lab has been continuously funded by the NIH and other groups such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for more than 20 years. Discoveries from Dr. Wisniewski’s lab include the following:

  • identification of the role of apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) as a “pathological chaperone,” promoting aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ), in Alzheimer’s disease
  • development of therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer’s disease based on the apoE–Aβ interaction, which reduces amyloid plaque burden, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and Aβ oligomer levels, without toxicity
  • production of improved immunization approaches for Alzheimer’s disease using nontoxic, nonfibrillogenic Aβ homologous peptides without Th1 epitopes for greater efficacy and lower toxicity
  • development of the first active and passive immunization approaches for prion disease, which are effective in wild-type, nongenetically modified model animals
  • reporting the first method to image Aβ deposits in model animals using MRI techniques with ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) amyloid-binding ligands, which cross the blood–brain barrier
  • characterization of the neuropathological features associated with different types of autism spectrum disorder
  • development of a novel therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s disease by stimulating innate immunity via Toll-like receptors that is effective in multiple Alzheimer’s disease mouse models and also in nonhuman primates
  • characterization of a novel immunization approach with a non-self immunogen (pBri) that produces an immune response targeting the shared pathological conformation of both Aβ and tau oligomers, as well as other amyloid-prone proteins
  • development of a novel proteomic methodology that allows use of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue and use of this method to help characterize the pathogenesis of rapidly progressive Alzheimer’s disease
  • production of novel anti–β-sheet conformational monoclonal antibodies (aβComAb) that have therapeutic potential for multiple neurodegenerative diseases