We investigate extracellular vesicles (EVs) in neurodegenerative diseases. We are especially interested in EV mediated release of toxic, aggregated proteins, such as a-Synuclein, the determinants of their sorting into EVs and the contribution of their release to toxicity and propagation of disease pathology throughout the brain. We also explore physiological functions of EVs in the CNS, e.g. the effects of oligodendroglial EVs, using primary cell culture and mouse models. Furthermore, we are interested in oligodendroglial pathology in neurodegenerative diseases.
In addition, we are focus on the detection of novel biomarkers from blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which may enable diagnosis and prognosis of neurodegenerative diseases in the prodromal or even preclinical stage.
An important aspect of our work is the translation from basic research to clinical application and vice versa.
One example of translation from basic research into clinical application within the DZNE is our currently recruiting phase Ib trial testing the safety and tolerability of Vorinostat in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. We set up the study protocol based on findings by A. Fischer’s group at DZNE Göttingen showing that Vorinostat can reinstate memory deficits in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model.