Kevin Catalfano (University of Notre Dame)

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Location: 322 Jordan Hall

Abstract:  Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegerative disease and is characterized by protein aggregates, in particular the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. It has been noted that the AD brain contains significantly elevated urea and ammonia, which are likely produced through the urea cycle. This group demonstrated that the urea cycle occurs aberrantly in astrocytes to detoxify waste left from clearing beta amyloid aggregates. This process leads to the formation of additional -aminobutyric acid and reactive oxygen species that may significantly contribute to cognitive decline observed in this disease.  By blocking the astrocytic GABA pathway, we may be able to treat cognitive decline associated with AD.

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