Researchers at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) have been awarded a $40,000 UNSW Goldstar Award for research into the structure and function of apolipoproteins which affect brain ageing.
CHeBA Co-Director Professor Perminder Sachdev will lead the research team which includes other prominent CHeBA researchers: Dr Anne Poljak, Leader of the Proteomics Group, Dr Nady Braidy, Co-Leader of the Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group, Dr Julia Muenchhoff, post-doctoral researcher and statistician Dr John Crawford.
Lead investigator Professor Sachdev said the potential for novel findings of this research is abundant, and it promises to yield new insights into normal ageing, pathological brain ageing including Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and longevity.
“Differentiating between ageing profiles on a molecular level is not only of fundamental scientific interest, but also key to implementing strategies for good health maintenance throughout life,” said Professor Sachdev. “This research has the potential to translate into outcomes of major national benefit.”
The award follows recently published findings by CHeBA researchers which identified changes in the level of particular plasma apolipoproteins correlated to normal ageing and age-related cognitive decline. Importantly, apolipoproteins have been associated with both beneficial and harmful physical and cognitive changes related to longevity, ageing and age-related disorders. Subtle changes in plasma levels may distinguish normal ageing from a predisposition to early ageing and age-related disorders, potentially allowing for early diagnosis and identification of at-risk groups for early intervention.
The latest research project seeks to further investigate the way changing levels of two apolipoproteins – ApoA1 and ApoH – impact on positive and negative brain ageing.