Associate Professor Ryusuke (Ryu) Takechi
- Vascular and metabolic disorders
- Neurological disorders
For 10 years, Ryu and his team have been investigating the connection between cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Mounting evidence suggests leaks in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) are significant, so Ryu’s taking a closer look at the effect of diet, lifestyle, environmental toxins and medications on BBB function, and its relationship to ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
If Ryu and his team can identify factors that break down the brain’s capillaries and can protect or restore the function of the BBB integrity, they’ll be a step closer to achieving their ultimate goal – to restore and reverse patients’ memory function.
In 2010, the team published an important finding – that diets enriched in saturated fatty acids can cause BBB dysfunction and potentially increase Alzheimer’s risk. They later also found that a widely available product – aged garlic extract – can prevent the breakdown of the BBB.
Ryu’s research saw him and CHIRI Director John Mamo awarded the National Health and Medical Research Council’s most prestigious award for the most potentially innovative and transformative project in 2014.
In 2020, Ryu is chairing the organising committee of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS) Cerebrovascular Satellite Meeting. The satellite meeting, to be held on 7 December 2020 before the 40th Annual Scientific Meeting of the ANS, will focus on the role, involvement and importance of cerebrovasculature in a range of neurological disorders.
Research interests – neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and Down’s syndrome; blood-brain barrier; vascular biology; inflammation; dyslipidemia; hypertension; insulin resistance; nutrition; nutraceuticals; anti-inflammatory agents; atherosclerosis; lipid metabolism; 3-D immuno-microscopy; synchrotron neuro-imaging.