Ethnicity- and Gender-Related Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease
Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Sherry Ferguson, PhD
Division of Neurotoxicology
FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)
Vijayalakshmi Varma, PhD
Research Biologist, NCTR
About the Presentation
Better understanding of ethnicity and gender differences involved in the cause and progression of AD could contribute to better drugs and other types of interventions to slow the disease progression.
Research has shown that minorities and women are particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Women have a higher incidence of AD at later ages and relative to Caucasians, the threat of AD is even more substantial in the African-American and Hispanic communities. More research into African Americans and other minority populations with AD is crucial to the goals of precision medicine. Studies show the advantage of using different approaches to understanding what is likely to be a complex picture of AD-related ethnicity differences.
This presentation will discuss research into protein levels in post-mortem African American and Caucasian brain tissue from both genders to explore ethnicity- and gender-related differences. The selected proteins include those thought to be critically involved in AD. Those proteins were examined in samples of the middle temporal gyrus that were matched for age at death since this region is critically involved in language processing and generation and has been shown to be significantly affected by AD.
About the Presenters
Research psychologist Sherry Ferguson, PhD, has conducted neurotoxicological research since joining FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in 1990. Dr. Ferguson earned a PhD in Physiological Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is on the editorial board of several scientific journals and is a past president of the Developmental Neurotoxicology Society (formerly, the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society). She holds adjunct status at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Vijayalakshmi Varma, PhD, joined NCTR’s Division of Systems Biology in 2009 as a research biologist . She earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal University, India. For over 13 years, she has conducted research into metabolic syndrome and its co-morbidities, including obesity, insulin resistance, and obesity-induced inflammation, in clinical translational studies and in disease modeling, using in vitro cell culture and in vivo rodent systems. She leads research efforts to explore the impact of obesity on drug-induced toxicities.
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