Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Catch it early: revolutionizing mild cognitive impairment differential diagnosis with cellular sensors for early detection of alzheimer's disease and neurodegeneration

Ursula Wyneken, PhD| Universidad de los Andes and IMPACT (Center of Interventional Medicine for Precision and Advanced Cellular Therapy, Santiago, Chile); Alejandro Luarte, PhD; Biotechnologist: Pablo Lazcano; Neurologist: Ignacio González, MD; Artificial Intelligence collaborator: Claudio Pérez, PhD; Biostatistics: Valeria Ramírez, MSc
Competition Sponsor
: Chile Agencia Nacional de Investigacion y Desarrollo
Awardee Year: 2023

Inflammation is increasingly seen as a key player in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). A subset of blood extracellular vesicles, known to be brain-derived, may indicate this inflammation. Our project focuses on these vesicles to devise a diagnostic tool for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) subtypes, which often precede AD. Using cells that react strongly to inflammation as detectors, we’ll monitor their reactions to these vesicles from MCI patients. Thus, instead of pinpointing specific EV molecular components, we’re evaluating their overall cellular effect, aiming for a broader understanding of their makeup. Our final aim is to improve MCI subtype diagnoses efficiently and non-invasively, with hopes of reshaping early AD detection as well as other neurodegenerative conditions.

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