Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

The mechanism of developing dementia through age-related metabolic change

Tonoki Ayako, PhD

Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development

In a super-aging society, an increase in dementia patients is one of the social problems to be solved. Dysregulation of insulin signal associated with diabetes and obesity is known as one of the causes of increasing the risk of developing dementia, which lowers the QOL of the elderly. However, there are many unclear points about how dysregulation of insulin signals reduces the ability of learning and memory. We genetically indicate that the multi-organ association of insulin-producing tissue, which has a blood glucose-regulating function, adipose tissue, and the brain are required for memory, and that the breakdown of these systems due to aging contributes to memory impairment, using Drosophila as a model animal (Tanabe et al., Cell Reports., 2017; Tonoki et al., J Neurosci., 2020). Based on these findings, we will elucidate a new molecular mechanism in which multi-organ association are linked to regulate memory, by analyzing gene expression patterns between tissues and performing candidate gene screening using olfactory associative learning in Drosophila. In addition, we will identify dietary habits and nutrients that prevent dementia and elucidate the mechanism by which such a memory regulating system breaks down due to aging and dietary habits that cause diabetes and obesity. The research results are expected to lead not only to the presentation of new drug discovery targets for the onset of dementia through metabolism, but also to the development of supplements and foods containing nutrients that prevent dementia.

Sign up for updates