Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in the CNS

The analysis of lipoprotein metabolism has traditionally been restricted to the easily accessible circulation and peripheral tissues. Very little work has been done behind the blood brain barrier, where many of the lipid carrying or metabolizing genes are also expressed. Yet we know very little about their functions there, although for instance ApoE4 is THE primary risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Conventional neuroscientists are ill-equipped to address this problem. Thus, lipoprotein reseearchers need to be encouraged to apply their expertise to the -admittedly- much harder problem of defining the lipid/lipoprotein driven mechanisms that protect the brain from degeneration.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Alzheimer's disease currently affects ~6 million Americans and costs upwards of 200 billion $ per year. Lipoprotein components, specifically containing ApoE and ApoJ, are the predominant risk factors for late-onset AD. The neuroscience community lacks the expertise in lipoprotein biology that is necessary to solve this enormous socioeconomic problem.

The NHLBI is ideally positioned to assume a leadership role to address this major challenge, which transcends traditional institute boundaries.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This is perfectly feasible, I am addressing this problem for years, there are clear rational approaches for it, but far too few investigators have picked up the challenge.

 

I would be most interested in discussing strategies and solutions to this pressing challenge in detail with the NHLBI!

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Joachim Herz

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Idea No. 608