Fatebenefratelli Foundation, Italy
Rosanna Squitti has completed her Ph.D. at the age of 27 years from Sapienza University, Rome, IT and postdoctoral studies from the University of Liverpool, UK. She is the director of the laboratory of Neurobiology, at the department of neuroscience, AFaR - Osp. Fatebenefratelli, Rome. She has an h-index of 21 (Scopus) and published more than 75 papers in reputed journals and serving as an editorial board member of repute. She has an International patent: Colabufo, Squitti, Method and kit for determination of free copper in serum, E.P.O.E. (RO/EP), PCT/EP2012/072063, 2012, and an Italian Patent: Colabufo, Squitti, BI4556R/RCGE/rfbv, RM2013A000253, 2013.
A large number of studies indicate a specific role of copper in aging and in Alzheimer’s disease mechanisms. Specifically, it has been proposed that the hypermetallation of the Abeta peptide can be at the basis of redox cycles of oxidative stress, toxicity, Abeta oligomer formation and precipitation (reviewed in Squitti and Polimanti, 2013). We have contributed to this topic demonstrating in living AD patients that an increase in the serum copper fraction that does not bind to ceruloplasmin (Non-Cp-Cu), correlates with the AD typical deficits (Squitti, et al., Neurol 2002, 2005), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers (Squitti et al., Neurol 2006), and with a worse prognosis for AD (Squitti et al., Neurol 2009). Furthermore, we have shown that loci of susceptibility for AD lie in genes pertinent to copper metabolism (Squitti et al., 2013; Bucossi et al., 2012; Squitti and Polimanti 2013), in particular in the ATP7B gene, which codes for the ATP-pump controlling copper excretion through the bile and ceruloplasmin biosynthesis. Moreover, we have demonstrated that copper and non-Cp-cu levels are higher in AD patients vs. healthy controls by means of meta-analyses (Squitti et al., J Alzh Dis 2013). Non-Cp-Cu helps in properly classifying subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) from healthy ones (Squitti et al., J Alzh Dis 2011) and provides prognostic information about the conversion to full AD (Squitti et al., 2013). We have recently developed a patented device to directly measure serum Non-Cp-Cu [Colabufo, N. and R. Squitti, P.E. European Patent Office (EPO) (RO/EP), 2012], highly reliable.
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