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Big Ten Network shines spotlight on U of M’s Alzheimer’s disease research

For more than 20 years University of Minnesota researcher Karen Ashe, M.D., Ph.D. has received international recognition for her groundbreaking Alzheimer’s disease research.

Ashe developed genetically engineered mice that exhibit early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. This allows Ashe and her team to study how the disease develops over time. By investigating specific brain proteins suspected to cause Alzheimer’s disease in humans, genetically engineered mice can help explain how Alzheimer’s develops.

Solving this molecular riddle will help Ashe better understand the disease, and inform her of where and when to intervene.

Ashe and her team of scientists were recently featured on the Big Ten Network (BTN) show, “BTN LiveBIG.”

“My heart is broken because I can’t stand the idea of someone having lived a full life and then losing their memories and their thoughts to a fatal disease of the brain,” Ashe explained to the Big Ten Network. “Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease of the brain which robs people of their memories, their emotions and their thoughts.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated five million people today and that number is expected to reach 15 million by 2050 unless a cure can be discovered.

“Everybody knows somebody who has Alzheimer’s. It’s a terrifying disease. It’s a disease that you can’t control. It’s a disease that once you get it you can’t stop it,” said Charles Grossman, trustee for the Thomas M. Grossman Charitable Trust.

“The goal of our research is to find a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from manifesting itself or to prevent it from developing at all,” said Ashe.

Despite the fact that there is still much to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, Grossman is confident that Dr. Ashe and her team will be successful in illuminating the mysteries of this disease.

“The ultimate goal that she has is to cure Alzheimer’s and the idea that that’s possible is amazing,” said Grossman. “She’s confident that her efforts will lead to a cure. I want to believe her that it’s going to happen and I think it will happen.”

To learn more about Ashe and the N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care visit here.

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