Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders

CADRD RESEARCH: Basic Science Studies

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Current Basic Science Studies

CADRD Basic Science Researchers

Affiliated Scientists & Laboratories

What is a Basic Science Study?

Current Basic Science Studies

Soluble Aβ

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.

Altered Neurotransmission

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.

Early Intervention

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.

Risk Factors

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.

CADRD Basic Science Researchers

Erin R. Hascup, PhD - Assistant Professor

Kevin N. Hascup, PhD - Research Associate

Affiliate Researchers & Laboratories

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

What is a Basic Science Study?

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.

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Upcoming Events

Alzheimer’s Awareness: Medical and Caregiving Information for Family Members and Caregivers

Saturday, November 5, 2016 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation on M.G. Nelson Family Auditorium
228 West Miller Street, Springfield, Illinois



Healthy Brain Aging

NIA booklet: Preventing Alzheimer's Disease: What Do We Know?"

Brain Health Manifesto
by Ron Zec, PhD

"Staying Sharp"  publications from Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives

ASPECTS article on

by Deborah Allen