Wednesday, January 18, 2006, 4:00 pm — Berkner Hall Auditorium
Alzheimerï¿½s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a personï¿½s memory and ability to learn, reason, communicate and carry out daily activities. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have it, a number that is expected to triple over the next 50 years. Today, one in ten people aged 65 and half of people over 85 are affected. The cause of Alzheimerï¿½s disease is thought to involve the formation of ï¿½plaquesï¿½ ï¿½ tiny aggregates of a naturally occurring, but misfolded or misshapen protein ï¿½ in the brain. Recently, the formation of these plaques has been associated with the binding of metal ions such as iron, copper, and zinc. Yet the function of these metal ions and the misfolded proteins in the disease process is not well understood. Now, synchrotron infrared and x-ray microscopes are used to image the protein structure and metal content in the Alzheimerï¿½s-affected brain tissue, providing a better understanding of how the disease occurs and potential ways of preventing it in the future. To learn about this research at BNL, join biophysical chemist Lisa Miller of the National Synchrotron Light Source Department (NSLS) as she gives the 411th Brookhaven Lecture, on ï¿½Shining Light on the Cause of Alzheimerï¿½s Disease,ï¿½ at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18, in Berkner Hall. Miller will be introduced by Chi-Chang Kao, NSLS Interim Chair.
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