Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Histone Modifications as New Targets for Pathophysiology of Accelerated Brain Aging Associated with Mental Disorders: Application for Development of Treatment and Diagnostic Method

Yuko Arioka, Ph.D. | Nagoya University Hospital; Amrita Basu, Ph.D. | University of California San Francisco; Simone Sidoli, Ph.D. | Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Competition Sponsor:
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020

Patients with mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder often die prematurely and are characterized by an overall poorer lifespan. Not to mention they cannot get healthy longevity. To improve this, early diagnosis and treatment are required. However, there is no biomarker that differentiates these diseases. To address this, the heterogeneity associated with mental disorders, age at onset, and other factors need to be taken into account to define biomarkers that help decipher a complex set of pathophysiological processes. Hence, we focus on epigenetic changes. We analyze various bioresources from patients with mental disorders, such as immortalized lymphocytes and iPS cells, using cutting-edge mass spectrometry that can quantify >200 histone modifications and variants at the same time. Our study will contribute not only to identify biomarkers but also to elucidate the accelerated brain aging in mental disorders. In the long term, our study can result in designing a clinical trial that will benefit patients by controlling and/or eliminating their disease, leading to better outcomes.

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