Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA) researchers are involved in a number
of projects related to neurodegenerative disease, cartilage and bone, cardiovascular
disease, food allergies and more. Click on the links below to learn more about current
CCDA research efforts.
Under the CCDA and the Neurodegenerative Disease Research Laboratory, scientists are investigating numerous neurodegenerative disease processes afflicting millions of individuals. These include major dementing illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body disease, vascular disease and other dementias. A focus of the research efforts has been on identifying underlying pathology that may be induced by environmental factors that promote neuroinflammation such as infection. Given the interplay between one’s intrinsic genetic profile and the extrinsic environment, the hope is to identify triggering factors in the pathogenesis of these illnesses. In this way, inroads can be made into improved treatments and eventual prevention.
The Neurodegenerative Disease Research Laboratory is under the direction of Brian J. Balin, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Chair of the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences and Director of Basic Science Research, CCDA.
To learn more about the research efforts or to make a contribution to the research, please contact Dr. Balin at firstname.lastname@example.org or the CCDA at email@example.com.
Within the CCDA, a number of unique projects have focused on neurodegenerative disease research including:
There are a number of studies within the CCDA research family that are associated with health or treatment to affect the heart or the blood vessels.
Dr. Lindon Young is the Principal Investigator of a NIH-funded project studying novel aspects of reperfusion injury following myocardial ischemia. Specifically, Dr. Young is exploring the role of the neutrophil that infiltrates into the myocardium and mediates cell injury. This injury appears to be dependent on protein kinase C (PKC) as an important mediator of neutrophil infiltration and activation, as well as in nitric oxide release from the basal vascular endothelium. This work in the CCDA is being extended to both cardiovascular injury after myocardial ischemia/infarction and to analysis of infection mediation in the process of stroke in collaboration with the AD group. The research offers exciting approaches in the use of novel peptide inhibitors and activators of PKC isoforms to alleviate inflammatory induced ischemic injury.
CCDA researchers have also been studying the effect of biomechanical treatments to stimulate the release of helpful amounts of nitric oxide from the lining of the blood vessels. Their findings have indicated that one type of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) called the Dalrymple Pedal Lymphatic Pump releases as much nitric oxide as moderately active exercise. This was also the case with the use of PAT. Their preliminary work was funded in part by the American Osteopathic Association and with resources made available with funding from the Philadelphia Health Care Trust.
Dr. Marina D'Angelo has investigated the mechanisms that regulate the formation and remodeling of cartilage and bone. Her group, in collaboration with both academic and pharmaceutical groups, has identified a novel complex of molecules that must be metabolized in order to release stimulators of growth plate development. Alterations in assembly and metabolism of the molecular complex may be involved in the pathogenesis of improper bone development and growth. This work is funded, in part, by the NIH.
Other exciting basic science research is being performed within the CCDA and these impact clinical areas including: Chronic Inflammatory Responses, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, Hormonal Dysfunction, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia/Osteoporosis, Parkinson's Disease, Quality-of-Life Issues, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Transplantation and Wound Repair.
Under the auspices of the CCDA, a new research program has begun. This program is entitled the “Food Allergy Research Initiative” and is under the direction of Christopher Scott Little, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, and Forensic Medicine. The initiative addresses an ever-growing need to develop strategies to identify, treat, and ultimately prevent allergic reactions to food products. Specifically, Dr. Little initially will address peanut allergies as a focus of this research initiative.
To learn more about the Food Allergy Research Initiative, you may contact Dr. Little at firstname.lastname@example.org.