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We are examining the effects of soluble Aβ, present during the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and a major component of amyloid plaques, on neurotransmission in intact neural systems. Preliminary data indicate that small amounts of soluble Aβ leads to an immediate increase in extracellular glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain that may also be responsible for neuron loss in middle- and late- stage Alzheimer’s disease.
We are evaluating neurotransmission in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease throughout disease progression to determine how and when it is disrupted, and how altered transmission correlates with cognition levels. Early findings indicate that glutamate release is elevated prior to cognitive decline, supporting the glutamatergic system as a potential target for early intervention in Alzheimer’s disease.
We are studying neurological markers and behavioral testing in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease to evaluate the efficacy of early intervention, prior to substantial cognitive decline, on short- and long- term disease outcome.
We are evaluating neurotransmission and other key neurological components in models of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, such as diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, and aging, to determine the factors that lead to increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. In conjunction with Dr. Andrzej Bartke, we are also studying models of successful aging to determine the factors that help sustain cognition in advanced age.
Andrzej Bartke, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, Director of Geriatric Medicine Research, SIU School of Medicine, Springfield
Peter Patrylo, PhD, Department of Physiology, SIU School of Medicine, Carbondale
Greg Rose, PhD, Director, Center for Integrated Research in Cognitive & Neural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, SIU School of Medicine, Carbondale
Basic science research typically includes studies with specialized tissue techniques, experimental animals, or tissues obtained from human autopsies. These studies focus on identifying which processes might be occurring that would cause the disease or that might improve treatments for the disease. The goal is to understand the mechanisms of human diseases using animal models.
Brain Health Manifesto
by Ron Zec, PhD
"Staying Sharp" publications from Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives
ASPECTS article on
by Deborah Allen