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AD/PD 2024 | Neuroprotective effects of transcription factor NRF2 in Alzheimer’s disease mice models

Robert Vassar, PhD, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, provides insight into an ongoing investigation of the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) in a 5XFAD mice model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Evidence shows that oxidative stress in the brain plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of AD. Accordingly, the therapeutic modulation of NRF2 has emerged as a viable option, as NRF2 upregulates the expression of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes, and NRF2 mRNA is decreased in Alzheimer’s brains. In this study, NRF2 overexpression in the brain increased β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) and reduced dystrophic neurites surrounding amyloid plaques. While the precise neuroprotective mechanisms of NRF2 must be further investigated, Dr Vassar expresses optimism for the future application of these results. This interview took place at the AD/PD™ 2024 congress in Lisbon, Portugal.

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