CurePSP Grants More Than $200,000 to Studies in Tau Protein Pathology and Environmental Factors in PSP

Key studies can help with greater understanding of pathology and
progression of PSP

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CurePSP, the leading nonprofit advocacy organization focused on prime of
life neurodegenerative diseases, has approved funding for two studies
that hold promise for understanding the pathology and progression of
progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). The grants total approximately
$212,000 and will fund studies in tau protein pathology and the role of
environmental factors in PSP.

The Stephen N. Jasperson/CurePSP study investigates the efficacy of
potential new drug candidates in modifying disease progression in PSP
patients. The principal investigator, Dr. Wai Haung (Ho) Yu of Columbia
University, and his team aim to stimulate brain cells to dispose of
“misfolded” and accumulated tau protein that, in its pathological state,
leads to neurodegeneration. Dr. Yu will use small molecules to activate
tau protein clearance through a process called autophagy, which is in
essence the brain’s “garbage disposal” system that clears damaged cells
and regenerates new ones. The study will be conducted over one year.

The study recognizes Dr. Jasperson, professor emeritus of physics at
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who suffers from PSP, and is funded by
his family.

The second grant has been awarded to Dr. Dominique Caparros-Lefebvre of
the Centre Hospitalier in Wattrelos, France, for the study of the
effects of heavy-metal contamination and other environmental toxins on
the development of PSP. Dr. Caparros-Lefebvre and her team will study a
formerly heavily industrialized region in Northern France that suffers
twelve times more incidences of PSP than the general population. Dr.
Caparros-Lefebvre and her colleagues will analyze contamination in the
air, soil and home-grown vegetables. The researchers will perform a
case-control questionnaire on food consumption, occupation and lifestyle
factors to investigate a possible link between PSP and a contaminated
environment. The study, expected to be completed in two years, could be
the first to tie the disease to environmental contamination.

Dr. Alex Klein, CurePSP Vice President-Scientific Affairs, said, “These
two studies hold significant potential for increasing our understanding
of the factors that influence the onset and progression of PSP. We are
extremely grateful to the Jasperson family for their generous support.”

About CurePSP

CurePSP is the leading nonprofit advocacy organization focused on prime
of life neurodegenerative diseases – a spectrum of fatal brain disorders
that often strike during a person’s most productive and rewarding years.
Currently there is no treatment or cure for these disorders, which
affect more than 150,000 people in the U.S. alone. Since it was founded
in 1990, CurePSP has funded more than 165 research studies primarily in
progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and the related disease
corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and is the leading source of information
and support for patients and their families, other caregivers,
researchers, and doctors and allied healthcare professionals. CurePSP is
based in Timonium, MD, with an office in New York City. Please visit http://www.psp.org/ for
more information.

Contacts

CurePSP
David Kemp, 802-734-1185
President
kemp@curepsp.org