Ioannis Zaganas, MD/PhD
Asisstant Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology and Sensory Organs –
University of Crete Medical School
Dementia, and especially Alzheimer’s disease, is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity world-wide and its impact is expected to rise with the aging population in several countries. The etiology of Alzheimer’s disease is largely unknown, with the exception of the rare genetic forms of the disease, but probably includes a complex interaction of genetic susceptibility, intrinsic pathophysiological mechanisms (such as glutamate excitotoxicity) and environmental factors.
The focus of our research is on the genetic basis and the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, especially in relation to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. We are also focused in the genetic basis of rare neurogenetic disorders.
More specifically, we are interested in:
a) Understanding the functional properties and role of glutamate dehydrogenase, a key enzyme in glutamate metabolism and glutamate induced neurodegeneration
b) Dissecting the role of genetic factors, as found using whole exome sequencing analyses, in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as other neural and non-neural phenotypes
c) Studying the role of environmental factors on the onset and progression of dementia and other neurological disorders
d) Establishing procedures for the use of whole exome sequencing in the diagnostic investigation of neurogenetic diseases