A Center on Alpha-Synuclein Strains in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders


The goals of this Penn U19 “Center On Alpha-synuclein Strains In Alzheimer Disease & Related Dementias” at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) are to elucidate mechanisms of progressive neurodegeneration and dementia in AD +alpha-Synuclein (AD+aSyn), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD), dementia with lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy (MSA). 

We hypothesize that cellular dysfunction and death result from transmission of distinct pathologic aSyn strains leading to toxic LBS and neurites (LNs) in AD+aSyn and LBD. We contrast these aSyn strains with those forming glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) in MSA that rarely associate with dementia or AD pathology as control aSyn strains in our studies. Further, aSyn strain diversity leads to heterogeneity in AD+aSyn and LBD.


This NIA funded U19 includes a unique resource component allowing other investigators interested in research on amyloid polymorphisms to make use of procedures we developed over the past 20 years to share biologicals obtained through this U19 Center an from prior collections of CSF, plasma, serum, DNA/RNA and brain samples from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Lewy body (LB) disease (LBD) patients who have been followed through NIH-funded programs. More information on our data sharing and training opportunities is available on our Resources page.

John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD | 1946 - 2022

johnFebruary 8, 2022

We are sad to announce the passing of our colleague and friend, John Q. Trojanowski, who we all regard as a larger than life leader in neurodegenerative disease research.   We will miss his probing intellect, limitless enthusiasm and energy, and ever present personality.  He passed away peacefully with Virginia, his partner in every aspect of his life, by his side.  I know the thoughts of our entire community go out to Virginia and her family.  While today is a difficult day for so many of us, we do look forward to finding ways to celebrate his remarkable life in the future. 

Contribute to the John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD Memorial Fund at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research