The link between cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration – focus on Alzheimer’s disease
Midlife hypertension has emerged as a prominent risk factor for later-life Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. A history of midlife hypertension has also been associated with poorer cognition in older individuals, accompanying hippocampal atrophy. Importantly, midlife hypertension is associated with increased deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau protein in Alzheimer’s cases when measured at autopsy. These findings raise the possibility that hypertension increases the risk for this disease by hyperphosphorylating tau protein, which causes direct toxicity toward neurons, and also disrupts the normal function of tau protein. In this project, in collaboration with colleagues at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, we will investigate the protective role of tau protein in cardiac physiology and pharmacology.
Associate Professor Christine E. Wright, BSc Hons, PhD, Laboratory Head
Professor James A. Angus, AO, BSc Hons, PhD, FAA, FAHMS (Hon)
Mr Ashenafi Betrie, BSc, MSc (Ethiopia), PhD candidate
Mr Mark Ross-Smith, BSc Hons, Senior Research Assistant
Ms Linda Cornthwaite-Duncan, Technical Officer
Dr Scott Ayton and Professor Ashley Bush, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne
Melbourne Neuroscience Institute Interdisciplinary Seed Funding
- Betrie AH, Lei P, Ayton S, Bush AI, Angus JA, Wright CE. Evidence of a cardiovascular function for microtubule-associated protein tau. J Alzheim Dis 2017; 56: 849-860.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.