how we're unique
how close are we?
identification of a new toxic protein altered the landscape
of Alzheimer's research, and it continues to lead the way.
The neurotoxin we discovered is called an ADDL, short for
Ligand, also known as
beta-amyloid oligomer or
oligomer. It's very small, and it's highly toxic.
When we discovered ADDLs in 1996, the Alzheimer's research
community was focused on an entirely different molecule, the
fibrillar amyloid found in plaques. The graphic at the right
illustrates this distinction.
After making this exciting
discovery, we carried out a multi-year clinical study to
validate the concept that ADDLs were central to the
mechanism of Alzheimer's dementia.
Results were conclusive.
Brain tissue afflicted with Alzheimer's disease displayed
dramatic levels of ADDLs; healthy brains contained virtually
review our key publications
Image courtesy of the Health & Human Services Progress
Report on Alzheimer's disease
Until our discovery of ADDLS (the small molecules in the diagram
labeled oligomers), scientists focused for many years on
the amyloid plaque as the root cause of damage in brain
neurons. (What is an ADDL?)
Listen to Dr. Klein talk about ADDLs:
The oligomer cascade hypothesis, their role in Alzheimer's, their mechanisms of action, and targeting them for diagnostics and treatment.
discovery of ADDLs and the methods we used to get there
have led to our growing reputation around the world as a top research facility that
has a unique and widely recognized understanding of ADDL
molecules and how to handle them in the lab,
has developed antibodies to deal with these toxic
is leading the way to discover effective diagnostics and
improved therapeutics in the fight against Alzheimer's
can achieve positive
forward-reaching results with higher success rates at
lower costs, and
is focused on linking laboratory findings to clinical
interventions, one of the key objectives defined by the National Institutes of Health
its 2007-2012 strategic plan as "translational research."
Link to the NIH strategic plan
Image from the Klein Lab archives.
The Klein Lab is committed to moving its discoveries from the lab to the practical world of patients in need.
That's why we structure our research in the manner we have.
|In addition, we have additional
advantages by being surrounded by stellar academic
research organizations at Northwestern University, with
which we closely partner. These include
the Weinberg College of Arts &
Sciences at Northwestern University, allowing us to
benefit from leading-edge scientific discoveries and
the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center
at Northwestern University, a world recognized leader in
dementia treatment and research, and
the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center
at Northwestern University, one of the country’s premier
sources for nanotechnology research.
Image from the Klein Lab archives
|Our results and
conclusions have been widely acclaimed and corroborated
by the research community.
Publications. Dr. Klein's original report in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has been
cited by other medical researchers more than 2,100 times.
Why is this number significant?
International Research Labs. We've fostered a global network that significantly furthers
demonstrable progress on Alzheimer's disease research.
Organizations. Leaders of the Alzheimer's program at the
National Institutes of Health recognize ADDLs as responsible for
brain damage in Alzheimer's patients.
International Meetings. Dr. Klein has been featured as a
plenary lecturer at many meetings, including those sponsored by
- The Alzheimer's Association
- Ipsen Foundation of Paris
- International Society for Neurochemistry
- Nobel Institute of Chemistry
and many other organizations.
Partial list of keynote addresses & lectures
delivered by Dr. Klein
Links to our scientific literature
Links to references to the Klein Lab's work on ADDLs in the news
|With our discovery of ADDLs,
become known as the place where Alzheimer’s disease may soon
become Just a Memory™.
Our lab is internationally recognized as the place that
can most effectively work with the toxic proteins we
We've defined seven
specific areas for ongoing research:
Find out why ADDLs accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s
patients. Develop strategies to prevent their toxic
new ways to block the molecular damage and brain cell
loss caused by ADDLs. Create new therapeutics based
on ADDL disease-inducing mechanisms.
Pave the way for new drugs by applying ADDL-based strategies that overcome the
limitations of such approved Alzheimer's drugs as Namenda®
Target ADDL-induced brain damage with new
therapies, returning normal lifestyles
to Alzheimer’s patients, their caregivers and families.
life-style changes that protect against ADDLs, such as diet or exercise.
Identify potential Alzheimer’s patients as early
as possible by establishing sensitive and accurate
clinical tests, thereby
enhancing the benefits of new therapeutic drugs.
the concepts developed for ADDL-based therapies and
diagnostics to other major neurological afflictions such
With your financial support, we can meet these ambitious but urgent
Here's how you can help
How Close Are
An ADDL vaccine based on
our work is anticipated to begin clinical trials in the
strategies that improve on vaccines should soon follow.
We have discovered that Namenda®,
one of the two types of Alzheimer's drugs now prescribed,
partially blocks ADDL toxicity. Improved therapies should be
We're developing a clinical lab test based on our ADDL
findings and nanotechnology. This innovative diagnostic is
designed to provide early detection and, therefore, greater
potential for success of future therapeutics.
Exciting news about diagnosing and effectively treating
Alzheimer's should be in the headlines in a few years.
Image from the Klein Lab archives
The Klein Lab at Northwestern University
2205 Tech Drive
Evanston, Illinois 60208-3520
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