There are several research efforts related to Alzheimer's taking place at Mount Sinai. Highlights are detailed here:
- Human Alzheimer's genes, transferred to mice, cause these transgenic mice to mimic human Alzheimer's, including memory loss and buildup in the brain of Alzheimer pathology, called amyloid, inside and outside nerve cells.
- New imaging chemicals permit scientists to see Alzheimer's amyloid pathology on brain scans of living mice for the first time.
- Use of new transgenic mice and new imaging chemicals to screen for new Alzheimer's drugs that reduce amyloid buildup, including natural compounds from red wine (resveratrol) and drugs that improve how nerve cells communicate.
- New brain scans that evaluate brain function and aid in detecting and diagnosing the earliest stages of Alzheimer's.
- Clinical trials of the newest and most promising Alzheimer's drugs including amyloid vaccines and anti-amyloid drugs.
- Clinical trials and basic mechanisms of possible breakthrough drugs (e.g., Dimebon) in line for possible approval by the FDA.
OnCall+ Alzheimer's Contributor
Mary Sano, Ph.D., Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mary Sano is professor of psychiatry and the director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is also the director of research and development at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital.
Sano is a neuropsychologist by training and has been involved in designing and conducting clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of cognitive loss and dementia. She has also directed the development of neuropsychological assessment as outcomes for clinical trials in Spanish speakers in the U.S. and has developed methods for standardizing cognitive outcomes in clinical trial assessment in Europe and Asia.
Her work also includes the development of methodologies to assess cognitive function in the elderly with special needs such as Down Syndrome.
Sano is a major contributor to both national and international organizations on the care and treatment of those with dementia. She is a member of the task force to develop guidelines for developing diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of dementia for the DSM V and she is a member of the Prevention Research Work Group for the Healthy Brain Initiative sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Aging.
In addition, Sano is an invited speaker at the NIA's workshop on methodological issues in randomized clinical trials in the elderly and an invited panel discussant for the DHHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) on Inclusion of Individuals with Impaired Decision-making in Research. She is also the director of several NIH funded, multi-center clinical trials on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Samuel Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center
Dr. Sam Gandy, is Mount Sinai professor of Alzheimer's disease research, professor of neurology and psychiatry, associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in New York City, and immediate past chairman, National Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer's Association.
Gandy is an international expert in the metabolism of the sticky substance called amyloid that clogs the brain in patients with Alzheimer's. In 1989, Gandy and his team discovered the first drugs that could lower formation of amyloid. Dr. Gandy has written more than 150 original papers, chapters and reviews on this topic. Dr. Gandy has received continuous NIH funding for his research on amyloid metabolism since 1986.
Gandy is a member of the editorial advisory board for the journals Public Library of Science-Medicine (PLoSM), Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Current Alzheimer Research. He is associate editor of the journals Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders and Molecular Neurodegeneration, and a consulting editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
From 1996-2006, Gandy was director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and The Wellcome Trust Annual Summer Course on the Neurobiology of Human Neurological Disorders. In 2000, he became chief organizer for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Bi-Annual Winter Biotechnology Conference on Therapeutic Opportunities in Neurodegenerative Diseases and continues in that role.
Gandy received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a residency in Neurology at Cornell University Medical College. Gandy completed postdoctoral training at The Rockefeller University, where, in 1991, he was appointed assistant professor in the laboratory of Paul Greengard, 2000 Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
From 1992-1997, Gandy was associate Ppofessor of neurology and neuroscience at Cornell University Medical College. From 1997-2001, he was professor of psychiatry and of cell biology at New York University and The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research.
From 2001-2007, he served as Paul C. Brucker, M.D., Professor of Neuroscience at Jefferson Medical College and founding director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences. In 2007, he assumed his current post as Mount Sinai professor of Alzheimer's disease research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.