20 years of research efforts at Center for Integrated Human Brain Science has successfully developed non-invasive imaging method for preclinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and has also demonstrated that disturbance in aquaporin-4 (AQP4) functionality, which hinders proper clearance of β-amyloid, plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of AD. The project aims to apply such a developed diagnostic technique in preventing AD: together with establishing an early diagnostic method for AD using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), the project will target discovery of the new drug designed to modulate AQP4 function and prevent impairment in clearance of β-amyloid.
In therapeutic research of brain disease, the diagnostics bound by the traditional theory of localization of brain function appears no longer sufficient. In order to overcome brain disease, there has been an increasing demand for a new academic discipline, which allows us to understand brain disease in accordance with the functional connectivity of each part of the brain. Niigata University launched a project aimed at setting a new pathological assessment method, naming such neuropathology as "System Pathology for Neurological Disorders." Conducting interventional trials based on the knowledge will pave a way to overcome brain disease. Connecting the collective expertise in brain at BRI, a number of research projects on neurology at School of Medicine and the medical care system at University Hospital together, the project aims to ensure a seamless environment that will readily translate basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions for patients. The project seeks to launch a clinical research center, which will serve for translational research on brain disease.