Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder and the most common cause of dementia. Current treatments only offer limited symptom relief, while basic and clinical researchers continue to struggle to develop successful disease-modifying therapies. AD is characterized by progressive cognitive and short-term memory impairment that deteriorates into motor and autonomic dysfunction as the brain atrophies in the terminal stages. The molecular mechanisms underlying these devastating clinical symptoms remain to be fully elucidated, yet researchers have already unveiled a myriad of interconnected cellular processes that are perturbed in AD, through use of experimental animal, cell and computational models as well as post mortem tissue. The complexity of AD pathogenesis implies that potential pharmacotherapy may have to target multiple disease pathways in order to halt its progression, as well as aim at the early stages of disease before onset of any significant and irreversible neuropathology.
A medical course offers a broad coverage of CNS diseases (including AD); however, these are not studied in great detail from a mechanistic perspective, which becomes more relevant to doctors undertaking research within a particular area. My view is that medical students would benefit from being exposed to the concept of medical and biomedical research early on, so as to give them a broader range of opportunities within the medical sphere, and perhaps inspire them towards a certain niche.
If you're interested in learning more about the molecular neuroscience of AD, I will be uploading publications from my research group at King's College London. As my PhD focused on calcium homeostasis in AD, the first couple of my publications will cover that topic. I will be happy to upload a broader range of AD topics upon request!
Please see below for attached paper.
Atherton_et_al-2014-Aging_Cell.pdf (1.5 MB)