Discovery Knows No Bounds

Discovery knows no bounds

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Determining therapeutic potential of BDNF in delaying the onset and progression of Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1)

Research Grant Recipient: Marija Cvetanovic, PhD

Award Value: $250,000

Research Focus: Neurodegenerative disease

Project Summary: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with no available therapies. This proposal will determine therapeutic potential of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to regenerate communication between cells in the brain, prevent neuronal loss, and delay disease onset and progression in SCA1. Completion of this research will provide a foundation for developing preventive and therapeutic interventions for SCA1 and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Year 1 Progress Report:

Using RMM funding we were able to determine that treatment with neurotrophic factor BDNF delays disease onset both at the behavioral level as well as at the level of tissue and neuronal pathology. We are currently testing whether BDNF can ameliorate disease severity after the onset of symptoms.

Dr. Cvetanovic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on how differend kinds of brain cells and their interactions influence the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In her laboratory, she also focuses on providing the next generation of scientists with the training and support they need to succeed as independent investigators.

Marija Cvetanovic, PhD