Faculty in the News: Nien-Pei Tsai, Associate Professor

From earth.com

Alzheimer’s earliest biomarker: The role of PSD-95

Lead researcher, Professor Nien-Pei Tsai of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and his team have observed that an increase in PSD-95 levels is linked to the seizures seen in the early phases of Alzheimer’s. By inhibiting this protein in mice, they were able to slow both the onset and progression of these seizures.

The significance of PSD-95 came to light as Tsai’s group examined mice genetically modified to produce more amyloid-beta proteins, which clump together to form brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s.

Their research ventured into an earlier phase of the mouse’s life than previously studied, a period before any other markers or abnormalities were known to occur.

“We aimed to identify early indicators that could potentially lead to an earlier diagnosis and slow the disease’s progression,” Tsai explained. “Given Alzheimer’s irreversible nature, any delay in onset or progression could significantly enhance patients’ quality of life.”

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