FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Floyd E. Bloom, M.D.
Founding Chief Executive Officer
Neurome announces publication of ground-breaking
research findings on Alzheimer's disease in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences
Paper reveals that the same key memory
circuit affected in human Alzheimer's disease is devastated
in a transgenic mouse model of the disease
LA JOLLA, CA - Neurome, Inc. recently completed the second
phase of its analysis of Elan's mouse model of Alzheimer's
disease (AD), which is to be published today in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of
America (PNAS), Vol. 100, No. 8, p.p.4837-4842 (2003). The
paper by John F. Reilly et al. is entitled "Amyloid Deposition
in the Hippocampus and Entorhinal Cortex: Quantitative Analysis
of a Transgenic Mouse Model" and is also available in
the online edition of PNAS at www.pnas.org.
Using Neurome's proprietary microscopy software, the Neurome
team has developed the first 3D reconstruction of the brains
of these mice, with the pathologic amyloid deposition displayed
in 3D register with key brain structures. This 3D portrayal
of pathology reveals sheets of amyloid deposition that correlate
perfectly with circuits known to be the most vulnerable to
degeneration in human AD. The paper also reveals findings
that - in contrast with previous hypotheses - indicate compact
plaques form prior to significant deposition of diffuse amyloid,
suggesting that different mechanisms are involved in the deposition
of diffuse amyloid and the aggregation into plaques.
The paper is co-authored by Dora Games, Ph.D. (Elan Pharmaceuticals),
Russell E. Rydel, Ph.D. (Elan Pharmaceuticals), Stephen Freedman,
Ph.D. (Elan Pharmaceuticals), Dale Schenk, Ph.D. (Elan Pharmaceuticals),
Warren G. Young, Ph.D. (Neurome), John H. Morrison, Ph.D.
(Neurome and Mount Sinai School of Medicine) and Floyd E.
Bloom, M.D. (Neurome and The Scripps Research Institute).
"Using our newly developed tools for visualizing brain
structures, we were able to completely reconstruct the brains
of the mice that model human Alzheimer's disease," said
Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., Founding CEO and Chairman of the Board
of Neurome and Chairman of the Department of Neuropharmacology
at The Scripps Research Institute. "In fact, embedded
in the brain reconstruction, we generated a 3D reconstruction
of the deadly deposits of amyloid, showing for the first time,
how the amyloid deposits precisely correspond with key memory
circuits - the same key memory circuits that are affected
early in human Alzheimer's disease."
"Not only does this greatly strengthen the validity
of this particular model of Alzheimer's disease, but it lays
the groundwork for a precise quantitative analysis of amyloid
deposition over time as the animal ages, and more importantly,
precise measurements of the extent and location of the removal
of amyloid from the brain as we test interventions,"
continued Dr. Bloom. "This launches a very different
and far more accurate way to visualize pathology in mouse
models, and potentially in human brains as the technology
is developed further."
"Neurome's findings will be greeted by the Alzheimer's
community as a major scientific contribution," commented
Dr. Paul Greengard, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate, Astor Professor
and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
at The Rockefeller University in New York, and a member of
Neurome's Scientific Advisory Board.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease
of the brain characterized by memory loss, language deterioration,
impaired visuospatial skills, poor judgment, indifferent attitude,
but preserved motor function. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
usually manifest after age sixty-five; however, onset may
occur as early as age forty, appearing first as memory decline
and, over several years, destroying cognition, personality,
and ability to function. There is no known cure for Alzheimer's
disease, which affects at least 20 million people worldwide.
Neurome, Inc., develops standardized, quantitative databases
that accurately depict and integrate gene expression patterns
in the three-dimensional context of the brain's structures,
circuits, and cells, and deploys these databases in primary
research directed toward the discovery and development of
gene targets for enhancement of brain function and treatment
of brain-based disease. Neurome performs contract brain research
for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies while at the
same time pursuing its own in-house and collaborative research
protocols. The data collected from these efforts will populate
an evolving, comprehensive database available by subscription
and useful on a broad level for analyses of mouse models of
brain function and disease. In this regard, the application
of the Neurome technologies will provide rigorous, quantitative
data that are optimally suited to the measurement of subtle
cell-type specific shifts in gene expression, as well as progression
and prevention of degenerative events affecting specific cell
classes and brain regions.
For more information, please contact Neurome, Inc., 11149
North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037-1031.
Telephone: (858) 677-0466; Fax (858) 677-0458; Web site: www.neurome.com.