Finding Common Molecular Mechanisms in Neurodegeneration
Neuropathological hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer (AD) or Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) in the cerebral cortex are well- known since long ago. However, the ultimate molecular mechanisms and genetic background leading to disease remain largely unknown. Thus, we are lacking both clinical biomarkers for early diagnosis and drugs that significantly alter the course of the neuronal death. Progranulin (PGRN), a secreted growth factor, is a key regulator of inflammation and is genetically linked to two both devastating neurodegenerative diseases (AD and FTD). Our project seeks to elucidate the common regulatory mechanisms underlying FTD and AD pathogenesis and identify candidate biomarkers along with new therapeutic targets.