DSU receives $500K for Alzheimer research
DOVER – The Paul H. Boerger Fund of the Delaware Community Foundation donated $500,000 to Delaware State University to support the Alzheimer’s disease research program led by Dr. Michael Gitcho, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences.
According to Dr. Gitcho, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 70-80% of all cases. The greatest risk factor for AD is aging; an estimated 30 million people are living with AD worldwide, and over the next 30 years, That figure is expected to increase to over 130 million worldwide. In the U.S., there are 6 million people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.
In Dr. Gitcho’s project, “Changes in network connectivity as a biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease,” functional magnetic resonance imaging is being used in a mouse model to determine the changes in network connectivity, through which the researchers hope to find early points for therapeutic intervention.
In addition, Dr. Gitcho and his research team are developing new models of neurodegeneration that mimic the pathology and memory deficits associated with AD. The new models will help researchers and scientists better understand pathways related to this complex disease.
The monetary support from this generous donation also provides students and researchers an opportunity to develop as scientists through career development, technical skill workshops, and presenting their work at meetings and conferences, Dr. Gitcho said.
“We strongly believe that the path to a cure starts with support for the next generation of scientists,” Dr. Gitcho said.