HOUSTON, June 3 (UPI) -- Two universities in Texas announced the receipt of an Alzheimer's research grant designed to find ways to reverse the disease's effects.
The $150,000 grant from the Cure Alzheimer's Fund was awarded to the University of Texas Health Science Center and the University of Houston to fund research on Alzheimer's disease -- the most common cause of dementia in elderly people.
The universities made the announcement Thursday.
Tim Armour, the fund's president, said the grant will allow researchers to accelerate their use of nanotechnology and new imaging techniques to study the effects of certain compounds of Amyloid-Beta -- a protein commonly linked to the onset of Alzheimer's. The scientists will also focus on the creation of new intravenous delivery systems for compounds such as gamma secretase modulators, which are believed to have the potential to protect against the development of the disease.
"We're developing nanocarriers designed to deliver therapeutic and imaging agents directly to the amyloid lesions," said University of Texas Professor Ananth Annapragada, a lead researcher on the pre-clinical project.
If the drug delivery system proceeds to clinical trials and proves effective, researchers said it could provide enhanced imaging in patients at a resolution far exceeding current capabilities.
It also could be used for the targeted delivery of a variety of therapeutic agents, according to University of Houston Assistant Professor Jason Eriksen the study's co-lead researcher.