The A-T Children’s Project is funding two new research grants that may provide insights regarding brain function in A-T. The Florida-based Wobbly Feet Foundation has agreed to co-fund part of each grant in an on-going partnership to accelerate A-T research.

Research for the first grant, entitled “Linking neurodegeneration to protein turnover in ataxia-telangiectasia,” will be led by Shyamal Desai, PhD from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Dr. Desai will examine whether or not defects in protein degradation or breakdown contribute to brain cell death in A-T.

With the second grant, entitled “PCD mice as an animal model of ataxia in A-T,” Kamran Khodakhah, PhD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine will explore the consequences of Purkinje cell loss on the function of the cerebellum, the area of the brain affected in A-T.

The more scientists can learn about the underlying defects in ATM deficient brain cells, and how brain cell interactions are impacted by those defects, the better chance they have of discovering therapeutic targets for this disorder.

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