Louis B. Hersh, PhD, University of Kentucky

Louis B. Hersh, PhD,
Louis B. Hersh, PhD,

This laboratory has as a major focus the study of neuropeptidases and their involvement in human disease. It is generally believed that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the accumulation of a peptide called the amyloid beta peptide in the brain of affected individuals. Two peptidases, neprilysin and insulysin, are involved in regulating amyloid beta peptide levels in the brain. It is believed that a there is an age dependent decline in the activity of these enzymes which leads to increased amyloid beta peptide levels as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease. They are investigating strategies based on gene replacement therapies to use these peptidases to lower brain amyloid beta peptide levels as a method to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. They are also styudying the role of these peptidases in diabetes as they can cleave amylin, a related peptide that has been implicated in causing type 2 diabetes.

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