Research Groups

Alzheimerís and Parkinsonís disease

Several scientists from MMC, together with the research group of Prof. Latchezar Traykov, from Department of Neurology, are involved in a research of molecular basis of Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s diseases (PD). Our clinical collaborators have extensive experience in studying the factors contributing to development of dementia in general and AD and PD in particular. In collaboration with Prof. F. Boller, INSERM, Paris, France, Prof. A. Heyman, CERAD, NIH, USA as well as Prof. F. Forette and Prof. A. S. Rigaud, both from Broca Geriatric Hospital, Paris, France, he has worked on development of different algorithms for evaluation and prediction of cognitive impairment and development of dementia, understanding the involvement of ApoE polymorphisms in AD and determining the influence of ApoE genotype on response to therapy.

Together with Prof. Traykov’s group, the Neurogenetics team of MMC is currently working on identification of genetic, neuropsychological and vascular marker for disease progression in patients with AD and vascular dementia. The study is funded by Medical University-Sofia.

Recently, a joint grant application was submitted to the National Science Fund, which will allow the expansion of our ongoing work by including additional AD patients, recruiting PD subjects and studying additional biomarkers. The proposed study will employ multidisciplinary approach for identifying the subset of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) with and without Parkinson disease (PD) who are at very high risk of developing different types of dementia. The aims would be to: 1) study the progression of neuropsychological disturbances, which will allow us to establish specific and accurate prognostic markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), PD with dementia (PDD) or dementia with Lewy body (DLB). 2) investigate the role of baseline circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels, as well as, IGF-I genetic polymorphisms and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) in progression from MCI to dementia. 3) determine the role of hippocampal atrophy as a risk factor for progression from MCI to dementia. 4) study the role of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for prediction of progression from MCI to AD. 5) investigate the role of arterial stiffness as a risk factor for progression from MCI to dementia. 6) create DNA and biomarker bank.

On the basis of all correlations between clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and biological data and after a longitudinal observation of MCI population, it would be possible to identify specific patterns of cognitive impairment and to determine the risk factors for developing dementia.



Clinical collaborators:

Prof. Lachezar Traykov, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Neurology, MU-Sofia;

Assist Prof. Shima Mehrabian, MD, PhD,

Yavor Jelev PhD student, 

Assist Prof. Vjara Kirkova, PhD student,  

Mari Petrova, PhD student,

Margarita Raicheva, PhD, Department of Neurology, MU - Sofia