Jackson Laboratory Getting $2.7 Million Grant to Study Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s

Jackson Laboratory Getting $2.7 Million Grant to Study Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s
The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is receiving a $2.7 million U.S. government grant for a five-year research project on the mechanisms that underlie healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Catherine Kaczorowski, an assistant professor at the Bal Harbor, Maine-based research organization, will direct the work. The grant is coming from the National Institute on Aging. "Normal cognitive aging and the memory decline of Alzheimer's disease appear to share molecular pathways," Kaczorowski said in a news release. "So we expect that by identifying genetic factors and mechanisms underlying normal aging, we will find targets for intervention against Alzheimer's." Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the fifth-leading cause of death for those 65 and older, and the sixth-leading cause of death for all adults. Symptoms usually begin after 60. Variations in the disease's severity and progression have made it difficult for researchers to identify the genetic risk factors and processes that underlie the disease, Kaczorowski said. "We have very little molecular and functional data from patients at the earliest stages of the disease, before cognitive symptoms appear," she said. "Moreover, the picture is made even more complicated by all the environmental factors -- from diet and exercise to economic status and education level -- that may affect Alzheimer's susceptibility." Other JAX researchers have determined that a diet high
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