T. J. Lukas

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Riluzole is the only FDA approved drug for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Riluzole is assumed to be mainly metabolized by the liver cytochrome CYP1A2 and by the extra-hepatic cytochrome CYP1A1. CYP1A2 and CYP1A1 genetic polymorphisms are known, but their relationship to riluzole metabolism in ALS patients has not been investigated. The aim(More)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of loss of central vision in the elderly. The formation of drusen, an extracellular, amorphous deposit of material on Bruch's membrane in the macula of the retina, occurs early in the course of the disease. Although some of the molecular components of drusen are known, there is no understanding of the(More)
Glaucoma, the second most prevalent cause of blindness worldwide, is a degenerative disease characterized by loss of vision due to loss of retinal ganglion cells. There is no cure for glaucoma, but early intervention with drugs and/or surgery may slow or halt loss of vision. Increased intraocular pressure (IOP), age, and genetic background are the leading(More)
Tinnitus affects approximately 50 million people in the USA alone, with 10 million being highly debilitated. Pharmacotherapy for tinnitus is still in emerging stages due to time consuming clinical trials and/or animal experiments. We tested a new cellular model where induced rapid neuronal firing or spiking was used as a mimic for the type of aberrant(More)
A portion of the neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer's disease has the characteristics of cross-linked protein. Because the principal component of these lesions is the microtubule-associated protein tau, and because a major source of cross-linking activity within neurons is supplied by tissue transglutaminase (TGase), it has been postulated that isopeptide(More)
PURPOSE In the central nervous system (CNS), increased mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage is associated with aging and may underlie, contribute to, or increase the susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the focus on the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid as tissue relevant to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we examined(More)
Iron accumulation is associated with age-related neurodegenerations and may contribute to age-related increased susceptibility of neurons to damage. We compared young and old rodent retinas to assess iron homeostasis during normal aging and the effects of increased iron on the susceptibility of retinal neurons to degeneration. Retinal iron was significantly(More)
BACKGROUND Although the statement that age is the greatest risk factor for Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is widely accepted, the cellular and molecular explanations for that clinical statement are not generally known. A major focus of AMD research is the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid. The purpose of this study was to characterize the(More)
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of central vision loss in the elderly and smoking is a primary risk factor associated with the prevalence and incidence of AMD. To better understand the cellular and molecular bases for the association between smoking and AMD, we determined the effects of Benzo(a)Pyrene (B(a)P), a toxic element in(More)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive amnestic dementia typified by abnormal modifications of the microtubule (MT)-associated tau protein that promote its pathological self-assembly and displacement from the MT lattice. Previously, we showed that peroxynitrite (ONOO-) induces the oxidative 3,3'-dityrosine (3,3'-DT) cross-linking and site-selective(More)