Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Blood-borne components from pregnant females as a novel therapeutic avenue against Alzheimer’s disease


Claudia Duran-Aniotz, PhD | Latin American Institute for Brain Health (BrainLat), Universidad Adolfo Ibanez; Valeria Gutiérrez-Ferre, PhD; Rodrigo Morales, PhD; Matías Pizarro Charpentier, RA; Catalina Valdés Bustamante, RA
Competition Sponsor: Chile Agencia Nacional de Investigacion y Desarrollo
Awardee Year: 2022

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, associated with aging and characterized by a progressive deterioration of higher cognitive functions and motor functions as a consequence of neuronal atrophy and death. AD has no cure and active research is being conducted to identify most desired treatment methods. Current therapies approved against AD are only palliatives, managing to attenuate clinical manifestations. However, an ideal treatment should be capable of halting brain deterioration. For that purpose, and on the basis of recent and existing studies that have demonstrated the advantages of blood transfusion between animal models and humans as a method to counteract and reverse the effects of brain aging at molecular, functional and cognitive level, we will study therapeutic effect of peripheral factors present in the blood of pregnant females on the development of AD. During pregnancy, immune and endocrine changes occur that stimulate the neuronal plasticity of the maternal brain for the correct development of the gestation process (“homeostatic rebalancing” model), suggesting the feasibility of this as a potential treatment against AD. With this project we expect to find a way to reduce the inflammation associated with AD, stopping neurological deterioration while preserving the cognitive and motor skills of patients. The long-term goal of our project is to identify therapeutic factors (proteins, cells, etc.) for therapeutic use.


To learn more about this proposal, email

Sign up for updates