Our understanding of AD
What is AD？
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the third leading cause of death in seniors. By 2030, scientists predict that there would be 75 million patients worldwide. Many factors have been speculated to have caused AD, a prominent one being the accumulation of amyloid plaques that would increase the neurotoxicity in the brain.
What about AD treatment?
The failure to produce AD treatment remain one of the highest in all diseases of any area with the percentage of 99.6%, making it scientists’ top priority to find a cure for AD. Cholinesterase inhibitors are one type of prescription drugs for AD that would prevent memory loss by slowing down the acetylcholine breakdown but as the conditions worsen, they would lose their effect.
What did we do in lab?
We examined different compound's efficiency in inciting cell autophagy on the protein LC3-II since autophagy is essential to prevent neurodegeneration. The compound C4-Paroxetine, C13-Amitriptylinewere most successful in inciting autophagy, which plays an important role in the cleavage of Aß and neurofibrillary tangles.
In the future, we hope to test the effects of compound C4-Paroxetine, C13-Amitriptylineon animal models (such as lab mice) to ensure its effectiveness and its potential side effects on the patient.
What did we do in society?
Not only did we find a compound that induced the most autophagy in the cell, we also organized a variety of events to increase social awareness on the issue. To keep people informed about the issue, we visited a senior home in Nanking where we explained what AD is as well as educate the residents there about how daily habits could subdue the effects of AD. We have composed a questionnaire which we handed out in the streets of Nanking in order to see the social awareness of AD and its causes. We also hosted a fundraising activity where we discussed the causes of AD as well as its societal implications, after which we played a movie about AD.