News Release
  March 15, 2013

CONTACT:

Kim Menard

215-662-6183
kim.menard@uphs.upenn.edu

Perelman School of Medicine


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2013/03/tau/

Tau Transmission Model Opens Doors for New Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Therapies

SAN DIEGO – Injecting synthetic tau fibrils into animal models induces Alzheimer's-like tau tangles and imitates the spread of tau pathology, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania being presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego March 16-23, 2013.

This Alzheimer's research, along with additional Parkinson's research from Penn and beyond, further demonstrates the cell-to-cell transmission of neurodegenerative proteins. John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, co-director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) and professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, will present the research in the Hot Topics plenary session on Tuesday, March 19 starting at 5:15pm.

"The transmission model better explains the spread of disease within neurodegenerative disease, and has uncovered new therapeutic opportunities which we are exploring vigorously," said Dr. Trojanowski. “However, it is important to emphasize that the spread of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s pathology does not mean these diseases are infectious, like Mad Cow disease, based on data from another recent study from our group.”

For supplemental information on the transmission of tau pathology, the laboratory of senior author Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D., MBA, director of CNDR and professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, published additional findings in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.