Cognitive Neurology Basic & Translational Research | NYU Langone Health

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Cognitive Neurology Research Cognitive Neurology Basic & Translational Research

Cognitive Neurology Basic & Translational Research

Investigators in the Center for Cognitive Neurology lead basic research programs to determine the molecular mechanisms that drive Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. Our translational research enables us to apply our findings to clinical practice.

Basic Science Research

In our basic science research programs, we use our strengths in molecular neurobiology and neuroscience to decipher the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. We seek to translate our findings into effective treatments.

A major scientific focus is the origin and significance of toxic amyloids and related products that build up in the brain. These are widely believed to initiate Alzheimer’s disease. Studies at NYU Langone uncovered insights into the genetics and biochemistry of amyloid proteins that have helped lay the groundwork for new anti-amyloid vaccine therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. We also have identified novel pathways for amyloid generation and insights into why neurons die in Alzheimer’s disease and other devastating neurodegenerative diseases. We are focusing on therapies that target cellular pathways to promote survival of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Translational Research

Our translational research combines basic science and clinical expertise to develop new diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies. Brain imaging is a promising tool to noninvasively and sensitively detect pathologic processes and to aid the diagnosis of dementing diseases. NYU Langone investigators were among the first to apply neuroimaging in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. We are now forging new paths toward earlier diagnosis by mapping structural and metabolic brain changes using both PET and MRI technologies to distinguish mild cognitive impairment from normal aging. We are also using genomics, a technology that allows us to study the genes from a patient’s brain or blood. This technology is providing exciting clues to the underlying causes of dementing disorders and will soon help guide drug discovery.

Animal modeling of dementing diseases is a key area of our focus in translational science and is increasingly used to assess therapeutic approaches to prevent or reverse the disease process. Our investigators have created mouse models that replicate the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Center for Cognitive Neurology also partners with NYU Langone’s Neuroscience Institute to better understand the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders and to develop novel therapies.