NEW YORK, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Although there are genetic dispositions for Alzheimer's Disease, the late onset of Alzheimer's and by far the most common, is still a mystery. It's also expected to double by 2050. Today however, renowned New York science investor, Jeffrey Epstein, whose foundation has provided funds to the American Alzheimer's Association, has heralded new findings into the late onset disease.
The findings come from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, the Icelandic Heart Association and Sage Bionetworks, amongst others, who have determined that a cluster of genes connected to the brain's inflammatory response mechanism, play a role in driving late onset Alzheimer's. Specifically, the research team analyzed the DNA of 376 deceased patients with late Alzheimer's along with gene expression and emanating biological pathways. What resulted was a mathematical model, a unified map of the prevailing genes present in late Alzheimer's and the pathways that they trigger.
One such gene, TYROBP, not typically connected to Alzheimer's but linked to brain inflammation, was shown to interact with TREM2, a gene recently connected to Alzheimer's.
The discovery is critical, Dr. Bin Zhang explained, a co-author of the study and Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai. "We can now evaluate drugs that impact the TREM2-TYROBP pathway as potential therapies and design more specific compounds that target these key steps precisely, in contrast to existing anti-inflammatory drugs that may be less ideal for hitting this target."
"The use of mathematics to understand the causes of disease is an exciting new field," Jeffrey Epstein asserted. "One can detect patterns that are otherwise hidden and target therapies more precisely."
Jeffrey Epstein is not new to mathematics in medical research. In 2003, he founded the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, which studies the evolution of micro-biology with the use of mathematics. The Program has also made critical discoveries into the evolution of cancer, HIV and other viruses.
Jeffrey Epstein is a former member of the New York Academy of Science and Rockefeller University. He sits on the Mind, Brain & Behavior Advisory Committee at Harvard University.
SOURCE Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation