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PharmaKure announces new collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University to understand Alzheimer’s disease

PharmaKure, which develops precision medicines for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, has announced a new epigenetics collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University. This partnership will focus on ‘gene-based environmental biomarkers’, known as epigenetic markers, for calculating risk scores for Alzheimer’s disease.

The collaborative study between Sheffield Hallam University and Pharmakure aims to gain a better understanding of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in order to identify those more at risk of developing the disease, so enabling the provision of appropriate interventions much earlier in the disease pathology. The partnership will complement PharmaKure’s blood-based biomarker ALZmetrix to increase the power of current Alzheimer’s diagnostics.

Professor Gavin Reynolds, Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, explained: “We have been working on the relationship of environmental stresses with respect to brain diseases.” Professor Reynolds has published over 300 papers on the pathology of neurotransmitter systems involved in psychiatric disorders and now focuses on epigenetics effects in neurological diseases. “Our genes are coded in our DNA, but epigenetics looks at how the cell turns genes on and off according to different environmental exposure, such as the ageing process, stress, trauma etc. We want to identify abnormal epigenetic changes associated with brain diseases, and these changes may be modifiable with medications.”

Dr Helene Fachim, Neuroscientist, PharmaKure, said: “Mental health and the environment can both contribute to the development of brain diseases. Influences, such as trauma and chronic stress, can bring about epigenetic changes to DNA that may result in a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. We are therefore looking for epigenetic factors that are specifically related to Alzheimer’s disease.”

“We would like to use these epigenetic approaches for a better understanding of AD, so that we can stratify a person’s risk of developing it. Then, we could act in preventive ways, or administer AD drugs earlier in life when they are more effective.”

Alzheimer's disease is a multifactorial condition, and it is known that environmental factors can make an important contribution to triggering it. The study’s main hypothesis is that there is differential methylation in certain target genes related to AD compared to non-AD controls. If this hypothesis proves to be true, Pharmakure can start the validation of an epigenetic predictive risk score for cognitive impairment and AD.

 

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Upcoming Events

Pathology Horizons 2024

MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath
18-20 April, 2024

Diagnostics North East Conference 2024

The Catalyst, Newcastle upon Tyne
19 April, 2024

ECCMID 2024 - European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Fira Gran Via, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
27-30 April 2024

British Society for Microbial Technology Annual Microbiology Conference

UK Health Security Agency, Colindale, London
2 May 2024

EQA Reports: Interpreting Key Information & Troubleshooting Tips

ONLINE - Zoom
Thursday 16th May 2024

Participants’ Meeting: UK NEQAS Immunology, Immunochemistry & Allergy

Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield
24th May 2024

Access the latest issue of Pathology In Practice on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

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