Saskatchewan Research Chair 2010 - 2020

Saskatchewan
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Dr. Darrell Mousseau

The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan (ASOS) and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) are celebrating our 10-year partnership to fund the Saskatchewan Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.  Dr. Darrell Mousseau, a University of Saskatchewan researcher, was awarded the Chair worth $2 M over 10 years.

Dr. Darrell Mousseau's Research

We have provided several reports that clearly show differences in the human male and female brain, and these differences speak to the potential for different disease processes between the sexes. Thus, there is likely no ‘one size fits all’ therapeutic for regulating amyloid levels in males and females and knowing this will help us to understand that we need to develop different therapeutics for each sex.

We have used our research funding to study phosphorylation on Tau protein that is a contributor to the Alzheimer’s disease tangle pathology. We know that the expression of an enzyme that reduces the phosphorylation of many proteins and many pro-survival mechanisms within the cell is altered in the Alzheimer brain. We are the first research group to study the role of this enzyme in the context of Alzheimer’s disease.

We know that there is increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease associated with class of antidepressant drugs that target the serotonin transporter. We can now show that these drugs block the removal of Aβ from the cells, and because a transporter is blocked this leads to the accumulation of Aβ within the cell.

Secondly, we have also shown that Aβ can bind irreversibly to an enzyme that is important for depression causing it to be more active and to trigger oxidative stress which starts the process to kill the cell. We have been able to design small peptides that can block this process. This could lead to a means of identifying Alzheimer’s disease much earlier or could be modified to be used as a therapeutic.

Our research has shown that not all Aβ peptides are bad: indeed, our brain generates a number of Aβ peptides of different length, and we have shown that shorter Aβ peptides can protect against the longer peptides found in the Alzheimer brain. Using a therapeutic that indiscriminately targets all Aβ peptides would have no clinical benefit as it would remove the bad Aβs, but also the good Aβs that are protective.

research sumary

Clearly the Saskatchewan Research Chair has been a major benefit to me, my research and the University of Saskatchewan, but what is most important is the impact of the research and the contributions we were able to make that will lead to future research findings. - Dr. Darrell Mousseau

Thank you 

As the Saskatchewan Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias comes to an end, both organizations want to thank Dr. Mousseau for his efforts that have advanced our knowledge of the disease and provided the basis for future research. We know your continued work will provide even more answers that will move research in the area forward. It is this work that strengthens our hope for earlier detection, better treatments, and fulfilling the vision of “a world without Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”

“Funding research is critical to our vision and mission. When families are impacted by dementia, they want a diagnosis, they want to understand the disease so they can live well with dementia, following that they want a cure – not so much for themselves but for their children and grandchildren. Our partnership with SHRF and our donors to fund the Saskatchewan Research Chair has found additional pieces to help solve the Alzheimer’s disease and dementia puzzle.” -  Joanne Bracken, CEO Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan

“Our partnership with ASOS was a first for SHRF and the Saskatchewan Research Chair program. It defined how SHRF and non-profits in the province could come together to support expertise and improve the impact of research for a particular health challenge. Darrell has not only been a success story for the Chair program, he has been an ambassador for SHRF and ASOS, and his work has been transformational in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research.” - Patrick Odnokon, CEO Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation

A summary of accomplishments of the Research Chair Program is available for download.

 

The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan (ASOS) and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) are celebrating our 10-year partnership to fund the Saskatchewan Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.  Dr. Darrell Mousseau, a University of Saskatchewan researcher, was awarded the Chair worth $2 M over 10 years.