Younesi, Erfan: A Knowledge-based Integrative Modeling Approach for In-Silico Identification of Mechanistic Targets in Neurodegeneration with Focus on Alzheimer’s Disease. - Bonn, 2014. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Erfan Younesi}},
title = {A Knowledge-based Integrative Modeling Approach for In-Silico Identification of Mechanistic Targets in Neurodegeneration with Focus on Alzheimer’s Disease},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2014,
month = may,

note = {Dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the body beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Based on neuropathological and clinical criteria, dementia includes a spectrum of diseases, namely Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's dementia, Lewy Body disease, Alzheimer's dementia with Parkinson's, Pick's disease, Semantic dementia, and large and small vessel disease. It is thought that these disorders result from a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors.
Despite accumulating knowledge that has been gained about pathophysiological and clinical characteristics of the disease, no coherent and integrative picture of molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease is available. Existing drugs only offer symptomatic relief to the patients and lack any efficient disease-modifying effects. The present research proposes a knowledge-based rationale towards integrative modeling of disease mechanism for identifying potential candidate targets and biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease. Integrative disease modeling is an emerging knowledge-based paradigm in translational research that exploits the power of computational methods to collect, store, integrate, model and interpret accumulated disease information across different biological scales from molecules to phenotypes. It prepares the ground for transitioning from ‘descriptive’ to “mechanistic” representation of disease processes.
The proposed approach was used to introduce an integrative framework, which integrates, on one hand, extracted knowledge from the literature using semantically supported text-mining technologies and, on the other hand, primary experimental data such as gene/protein expression or imaging readouts. The aim of such a hybrid integrative modeling approach was not only to provide a consolidated systems view on the disease mechanism as a whole but also to increase specificity and sensitivity of the mechanistic model by providing disease-specific context. This approach was successfully used for correlating clinical manifestations of the disease to their corresponding molecular events and led to the identification and modeling of three important mechanistic components underlying Alzheimer’s dementia, namely the CNS, the immune system and the endocrine components. These models were validated using a novel in-silico validation method, namely biomarker-guided pathway analysis and a pathway-based target identification approach was introduced, which resulted in the identification of the MAPK signaling pathway as a potential candidate target at the crossroad of the triad components underlying disease mechanism in Alzheimer’s dementia.},

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