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Alzheimer’s disease

Identifizierung von Amyloid-beta-OligomerenOligomers are detectable using a fluorescence microscope.
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich / Andreas Kulawik

The Structural Biochemistry division (ICS-6) combines fundamental structural biological research with applied clinical research. The molecular basis of the disease is being decoded by the research group led by Professor Dieter Willbold, using extremely high-resolution structural biological methods such as NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, as well as simulations run on Jülich’s supercomputers. The Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for basic research.

The Institute is also developing an innovative therapy strategy using an in-house developed drug candidate that eliminates Aβ oligomers. These small soluble aggregates of the body’s own amyloid beta protein are considered to be key drivers of the disease's development and progression. The spin-off company Priavoid GmbH was established to develop the drug further. In addition, the researchers have advanced the diagnostic procedure, enabling significantly earlier and more reliable diagnoses, and helping to better assess therapeutic success in clinical trials. The ‘sFIDA method’ enables the detection of minute quantities of oligomers in samples of body fluids and uses them as biomarkers for diagnosing the disease.

The Molecular Organization of the Brain division (INM-2) investigates metabolic and neurochemical processes that underlie neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The main objective of the clinical research conducted by Professor Andreas Bauer’s team is the development of highly specific neurochemical indicators for brain diseases. These allow a reliable diagnosis at an early stage of the disease and are suitable as diagnostic tools for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.


Institute of Complex Systems, Structural Biochemistry (ICS-6)

Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Molecular Organization in the Brain (INM-2)

Related reports:

More on the sFIDA diagnostic method (archive)
More on Alzheimer’s drug research (archive)

More on experimental treatments for Alzheimer’s (INM-2)