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Dr. Clyde Hodge receives NIH grant supplement to develop research on Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s-related dementias.

Dr. Hodge has received a 1-yr grant through the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to supplement his currently funded R37 MERIT award from the NIAAA. The laboratory’s ongoing work is evaluating the impact of alcohol drinking on the prefrontal cortex and amygdala neuroproteome in mice. Studies have revealed a striking, and unexpected, major association between alcohol drinking and proteins that regulate Alzheimer’s neural pathology. In both brain regions, tau (MAPT, pTau forms neurofibrillary tangles), amyloid beta precursor protein (APP, cleaved to form amyloid plaques), and presenilin-1 (PSEN1, γ-secretase family, cleaves APP) were identified as the main modulators of alcohol-sensitive protein networks, suggesting that non-dependent alcohol drinking may impact Alzheimer’s pathology. Using transgenic mice that express the human forms of these proteins, Dr. Hodge’s laboratory will evaluate the impact of moderate alcohol drinking on neural and behavioral pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. This work will provide an exciting and novel direction through which the lab’s ongoing research can have a powerful and sustained impact on the fields of alcohol addiction and Alzheimer’s research. This work is especially significant given recent epidemiological evidence indicating that aged individuals are engaging in higher rates and amounts of binge alcohol drinking. Further, studies of this type can provide highly significant public health information for the approximately 80% of adults who have consumed alcohol in a non-dependent manner.