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George Perry
George Perry

Sciences dean co-edits Alzheimer's book

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist

(May 29, 2009)--Two of the world's leading Alzheimer's researchers, George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences, and Ricardo B. Maccioni, neurology professor at the University of Chile Medical School, have co-edited a book analyzing the major new developments in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Building on a 2007 Alzheimer's disease conference in Chile, the researchers edited "Current Hypotheses and Research Milestones in Alzheimer's Disease," a 254-page text written by academics and medical doctors. The book focuses on the most promising hypotheses that illuminate the path to more effective treatment.

Highlights include:

  • New information on the biology of amyloid-ß, the main component in the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, and where the field has concentrated its efforts for nearly 20 years
  • The Tau Hypothesis, which suggests Alzheimer's disease is caused by abnormal chemical changes to tau proteins disrupting the normal cell biology of neurons
  • The Oxidative Stress Hypothesis, which indicates neurons degenerate and die because the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease have a disrupted oxidative metabolism leading to decreased neuronal energy supply and increased oxidative damage
  • Neuroimmunological hypotheses linking Alzheimer's disease to the chronic low- level inflammation thought to underlie arthritis, coronary disease and other age-related conditions
  • Development of biomarkers for early diagnosis
  • New horizons for the development of anti-dementia drugs

 

"Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in senior citizens," said Perry, also a UTSA professor of biology. "While the scientific community hasn't been able to pinpoint the cause of the disease, researchers around the world are advancing what we know about the disease and how we might be able to treat it in the future."

Ranked one of the top 10 Alzheimer's disease researchers in the world in 2009, Perry joined UTSA in 2006 from Case Western Reserve University, where he was a professor of pathology and neurosciences and the chair of the Case Western Reserve Department of Pathology. A prolific researcher, Perry is the second-most published Alzheimer's disease researcher with 516 publications to his credit.

He serves as president of the American Association of Neuropathologists and is on the editorial boards of more than 70 journals including the American Journal of Pathology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. He also is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the leading journal for Alzheimer's research.

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