The link between cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration – focus on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases

Project Details

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. In addition, we will examine autonomic, cardiac and vascular dysfunction in animal models of Parkinson's disease.

Mr Ashenafi Betrie, PhD candidate, studies right and left atria from aged mice with neurodegenerative diseases

Figure 1: Mr Ashenafi Betrie, PhD candidate, studies right and left atria from aged mice with neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Group

Wright laboratory: Cardiovascular



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Pharmacology and Therapeutics