Posted 30 June 2022

Funding supports new approach to Alzheimer’s disease
Professor Michael Parker

A team led by SVI’s Professor Michael Parker was recently awarded a Faye Williams Innovation Grant from the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, to support testing of a potential new approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease.

The team has identified a drug-like molecule that could enhance the brain’s ability to clear toxins associated with the development of Alzheimer’s, a disease that directly affects more than 300,000 Australians.

“The brain naturally has cells that act as garbage collectors, removing toxins associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” Michael explains. “We have some very promising preliminary results indicating that the new drug we are developing can enhance this process without the negative consequences that have plagued other drug trials.”

The new grant will enable this drug to be tested in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

“If we can successfully enhance the brain’s ability to clear these toxins, we could delay, and even potentially reverse, some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Michael.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and Alzheimer’s represents up to 70% of this disease burden. Almost half a million Australians live with dementia and another 1.6 million are involved in their care. The number of Australians living with dementia is expected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058.