A Monthly Newsletter of The Roskamp Institute, Inc.


Michael Mullan M.D., Ph.D.Welcome to the Roskamp Institute’s first newsletter. Many of you may have visited the institute, or have heard of its work and this newsletter is our way of keeping you informed of the important work we do here to find new ways to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. The institute has frequently been regarded as “Sarasota’s best kept secret” but we would like you to know of the dedication and passion of the researchers here, who strive to find new ways of treating the neuropsychiatric diseases that beset our community, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism and many others.   Many of the citizens of our community have taken part in research studies at Roskamp Institute. This active participation in our work helps advance the fight against disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. This, and financial support from the community has helped us to make notable advances. For instance, Roskamp Institute scientists discovered the novel use of a drug called Nilvadipine for Alzheimer’s disease. Working with for-profit partners, the non-profit Roskamp Institute has advanced Nilvadipine all the way through Phase III clinical trials in Europe. This is a huge achievement from a small research team and demonstrates what can be accomplished with state of the art science and community support. The mission of the Institute is to produce as many new treatments as we can for Alzheimer’s and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The limit to our ability to advance new drugs in other areas and additional drugs in Alzheimer’s disease is determined by funding and community support.   Please find out more about our work and what you can do to help. Sadly, sooner or later, most of us will be touched by one of the disorders that we fight so hard to overcome. Your support can make all the difference between the ongoing suffering from these disorders or the discovery of a new treatment.

Michael Mullan, MD. PhD.

Roskamp Institute’s first Ph.D. Graduates!

Ph.D. Graduates
This month the Roskamp Institute celebrated its first two Ph.D. graduates, Scott Ferguson and Laila Abdullah. A Ph.D. from the Roskamp Institute is awarded through the Open University, which is based out of the United Kingdom. Drs. Ferguson and Abdullah officially received their degrees last month, at Waterfront Hall in Northern Ireland. The ceremony was attended by members of the Open University, as well as the Minister for Education of Northern Ireland. During his speech, the Minister specifically referred to the achievements of the Roskamp Institute graduates, who were the only two Doctors of Philosophy graduating at the ceremony. Both of whom described the graduation ceremony as a “meaningful and symbolic experience.” Dr. Ferguson felt different at this graduation than he has previously because there was always another graduation coming, but his Ph.D. was his final step. It was the point where his education ended, but also where it began. It was a once in a lifetime experience that he will never forget.

The Roskamp Institute Clinic

Roskamp Institute Clinic

While the Roskamp Institute specializes in the research of Alzheimer’s disease and related neuropsychiatric disorders, we also have a full service Neurology Clinic. Our clinic offers comprehensive memory assessments as well as physical, neurological and neuropsychological examinations. We can also provide help to those with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, headaches and neurological complaints of neck pain, back pain, gait disorders and seizures.
Roskamp Institute provides free memory screenings for anyone over the age of 60. The process involves completing a questionnaire (that can be mailed to you prior to your appointment), followed by a short memory test conducted at our office. Your results are then reviewed by one of our specialists, and then you will receive a letter, within two weeks, indicating whether or not further evaluation is recommended. To schedule your free screening please call the Roskamp Institute Clinic (941) 256-8018.
The Roskamp Institute Clinic is also where we conduct clinical trials of experimental treatments and medicines designed to combat neurological disorders. Now, more than ever, we need volunteers for Alzheimer’s research as we continue to test new drugs and approaches to treat the disease. Sarasota happens to have one of the highest densities of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers in the world. We, at The Roskamp Institute, would welcome your commitment to helping us find new ways to combat this terrible disease. For more information please contact Yahdinah Alvarez at (941) 256– 8018 Ext. 355

New study underscores NF-kB in aging

A new study by researchers at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine dramatically underscores the potential role of the NF-kB protein in aging. NF-kB is a master protein which controls many inflammatory chemicals throughout the body. Researchers at the Roskamp Institute have studied NF-kB for many years as a potential way of controlling chronic inflammation which accompanies aging and underlies conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. This new study points to a part of the brain as regulating the aging process. The current view of aging generally suggests that enzymes, DNA, proteins and other constituents of the body essentially “wear out” with age, accumulating damage due to environmental insults until they no longer function properly. This new study suggests something quite different, namely that a part of the brain called the Hypothalamus deliberately induces aging throughout the body. It has been suggested that one reason why the brain might take such drastic action is to inhibit reproduction past a certain age.
This suggestion is highly speculative at this stage, but the data offered by the Albert Einstein researchers suggests that, with age, increased NF-kB activity triggers degeneration in both the brain and other areas of the body. The researchers showed that as mice aged, they increasingly expressed NF-kB in the part of the brain that is normally responsible for the production of reproductive and growth hormones. The researchers artificially manipulated NF-kB activity using genetic techniques and showed that reducing NF-kB activity was associated with better performance in cognitive tests, greater muscle strength and greater bone mass and skin thickness. Conversely, exacerbation of NF-kB activity increased all of these peripheral signs of aging, as well as reducing cognitive abilities. Furthermore the research suggested that microglia (the inflammatory cells resident in the brain) are the originators of the NF-kB activity and this spreads to nearby neurons, including those responsible for growth and reproductive hormones.

These findings are of direct significance to work at the Roskamp Institute as researchers there have shown that increased NF-kB collates strongly with Alzheimer’s pathology and pathology of other central nervous system disorders.  Moreover, they have worked extensively on ways to reduce NF-kB activation, particularly using the naturally occurring compound Anatabine.
Roskamp Institute researchers have shown in multiple preclinical studies of neuroinflammation (such as Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury and Multiple Sclerosis) that Anatabine (supplied by Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals) has potent anti-inflammatory properties. This new finding suggests that NFKB inhibitors might also have a role in decelerating aging. In fact, preliminary studies at the Roskamp Institute suggest that mortality in mice with Alzheimer pathology is reduced by Anatabine treatment. Additional studies are needed to clarify whether Anatabine might reduce the hypothalamic inflammation and increase the release of hormones that oppose aging.
Michael Mullan M.D., Ph.D.
President & CEO
Roskamp Institute
NF-kB in aging

Conferences & Meetings

Drs. Michael Mullan and Fiona Crawford recently attended the NILVAD General Assembly Meeting in Schloss Hohenkammer, Munich, Germany. They were joined by representatives from all nine European countries participating in the Phase III Nilvadipine in Alzheimer’s clinical trials. Nilvadipine was developed as a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease by Roskamp Institute scientists, particularly Drs. Paris, Crawford and Mullan. Recruitment of patients for this trial has begun in Ireland, and is due to begin in other countries soon. To learn more about this clinical trial visit www.nilvad.eu

Drs. Paris, Mullan, & Crawford

Recent Publications

“The Spectrum of Aphasia Subtypes and Etiology in Subacute Stroke” by M. Hoffmann and R. Chen, was pub-lished in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases in May 2013
“β-Secretase: its biology as a therapeutic target in diseases” by H. Wang, R. Li and Y. Shen, was published in Trends in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences in April 2013
*Roskamp Institute scientists are in bold.

   How can you get involved?  

Monthly Seminar

Each month Dr. Michael Hoffman, Cognitive Neurology Consultant at the Roskamp Institute, presents a seminar relating to brain health and growth. These talks are open to the public and lunch is provided.  Dr. Hoffman will present “The chain of missing links: From unicellular organisms to frontopolar spindle cells” on Friday June 28, 2013.   To RSVP please contact Nancy Kavanagh: (941) 256-8019 or fill in the RSVP form.

Support The Roskamp Institute

Most of the Roskamp Institute's funding comes from grant funding and the general public -- people like you. Gifts of any size help bring us ever closer to significant scientific breakthroughs, and ultimately make a difference in the lives of people facing diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Gulf War Illness and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Your contribution to the not-for-profit 501[c](3) Roskamp Institute is tax deductible and supports research to improve treatment and to ultimately develop a cure for these devastating diseases. For more information on how to donate, please visit: www.rfdn.org or contact James Humphrey at (941) 752-2949 
Brain Health Tip

Brain Health Tip of the Month:


Staying physically active is an important factor in reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. You can stay active and reduce your risk without the use of a gym. 30 minutes of light exercise, three times a week, is enough to maintain an active lifestyle. You could take a walk on the beach, play golf, or go for a casual bike ride. All of these activities can be done in a leisurely fashion; you don’t need to cause yourself to get short of breath or even to sweat. If done for 30 minutes three times a week, light exercise has been shown to reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease by up to 30% in individuals over 65 years of age.
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Roskamp Institute Inc.
2040 Whitfield Avenue
Sarasota FL 34243
Clinic: (941) 256-8018
Lab/Office: (941) 752-2949
Copyright © 2013 | The Roskamp Institute, Inc., All rights reserved.