Sigma Kappa Stories

Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative Gift

Posted: 06/05/2018 | 04:06 AM

As a part of the Shared Hearts. New Heights. capital campaign, Sigma Kappa Foundation presented the Alzheimer’s Association with the $1 million lead gift for the Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative (WARI). WARI was created to help unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease in women. To get a glimpse of the research underway, keep reading for a progress summary from one of the current studies.

Elvira De Leonibus, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Naples, Italy

Research Project: What are the biological factors that may underlie sex differences in memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease? 

Progress Summary:  Challenging the brain with high information load has unmasked in female mice an impaired region of the brain responsible for memory, the hippocampus. Female mice showed detectable deficits at six months of age; male mice did not show detectable deficits until 12 months of age.

Dr. De Leonibus has confirmed that female mice use brain pathways in the development of new memories and navigational skills that male mice do not use. These findings give experimental support to her working hypothesis that sex-regulated differences in brain cell writing may be a predisposing factor for dementia.

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