Single-Whole-Cell Characterization in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Principal Investigator: Dr. Guidy E. Serrano
Banner Sun Health Research Institute

Sun City, AZ

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a disease that results from neuronal death and alteration of multiple supportive cells of the brain known as glia cells. These changes result in loss of body movement, coordination and thinking. Many studies have tried to better understand the biology of the disease, but there is currently no effective treatment for PSP. Not many studies have been able to  separate  out  human  neurons  from  other  cells  in  the  brain  to  more  clearly  examine  individual cell function in aging and PSP. Our hypothesis is that comparing individual cells from PSP and non-PSP elderly people will give us clues to the cause and possible treatment of PSP. The main goal of our study is to separate out and compare human brain cells from normal older people  and  people  with  PSP  or  Alzheimer’s  disease.  One of  the  comparisons  will  be  of  RNA  molecules that instruct cells to make proteins.  As changes in protein production are often causes of disease, this could lead to suggestions for specific molecular treatment (drugs) for PSP. This will be the first study exploring RNA changes in different types of individual human brain cells in PSP.  This study will give us the chance to discover new targets for disease-modifying treatments for PSP.