Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Awards Fourth Research Grant

(Burton, Michigan)-- October 6, 2010-- The Alzheimerís Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) has just awarded a $30,000 research grant to the University of California, San Diego for a forthcoming research project led by Dr. Robert Rissman to study drugs that modulate the brainís stress circuitry as a treatment for Alzheimerís disease.

Alzheimerís disease currently afflicts more than five million Americans and is the most common form of dementia. Current FDA-approved drugs are not yet able to prevent or reverse Alzheimerís disease and provide only modest and temporary symptomatic benefits. Researchers are trying to identify environmental factors that may be involved in Alzheimerís disease.

Exposure to chronic stress is one factor that has been consistently implicated in age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimerís disease.

Data from Dr. Rissmanís lab has shown that stress exposure in rodents can induce the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer's disease. Stress can also increases the production of toxic protein fragments in the brain. Recent research from Rissmanís team demonstrates that partial interference of stress-signaling pathways in mice genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer's can dramatically reduce the toxic protein fragments.

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is a national, grassroots organization whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. It auctions and sells donated quilts through the Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt project. The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative has raised more than $417,000 since January 2006. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer's.

For more information on the AAQI or to make a donation, contact Ami Simms at 810-637-5586 (9 a.m Ė 3 p.m. Eastern), or


Ami Simms
Founder and Executive Director
Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative
1200 Creekwood Trail
Burton, MI 48509
(810) 637-5586