August 12, 2003

Scientists at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth are expanding their research on how the brain ages, thanks to an $8.6 million grant from the National Institute on Aging.

Learning how the brain normally ages is an important step toward understanding what happens in cases of Alzheimerâ??s disease and other age-related cognitive disorders, said James Simpkins, PhD, director of the Institute for Aging & Alzheimerâ??s Disease Research and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the health science center. â??We hope that by better understanding how the brain ages normally, we can pinpoint what happens when there are problems and develop therapies to address conditions like Alzheimerâ??s disease.â?

â??This grant demonstrates the excellence of the research being conducting at the health science center,â? said Ronald Blanck, DO, president. â??We are nationally recognized for our high quality research, excellent faculty and our commitment to studying aging and Alzheimerâ??s disease.â?

The grant supports five separate research projects for the next five years. The projects are connected both theoretically and practically to form a comprehensive program. â??Each of these projects will be enhanced because it is part of this interdependent group,â? Dr. Simpkins said. â??The discoveries made on each project will influence how the other investigations develop.â?

In addition to Dr. Simpkins, the research team includes Michael Forster, PhD; Peter Koulen, PhD; Glenn Dillon, PhD; Meharvan Singh, PhD; Christopher de Fiebre, PhD; and Karan Singh, PhD.


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