Longitudinal Characterization of G2019S Models: Physiological and Behavioral Analyses of Dopamine and Glutamate Systems
Research Grant, 2013
It is likely in disease states that brain cells suffer long periods of dysfunction before they die. By studying the early effects of Parkinsonís disease (PD) gene mutations upon brain cell activity, this project aims to uncover the earliest disturbances so that future research can correct them with drug treatments. Correcting early dysfunction may reduce gene mutation-induced PD symptoms and may also prevent later cell death.
The brain region most affected by cell death in PD (the substantia nigra) releases the neurotransmitter dopamine into another brain region called the striatum. These two regions interact to help the brain evaluate and plan physical (motor) and mental (cognitive) actions. In this project researchers will study the interplay between this dopamine release and the other important glutamate inputs that the striatum receives, with the use of pre-clinical models that express the Parkinsonís G2019S mutation.
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinsonís Disease:
Once researchers know what the early changes are, they can design drug treatments to reverse or manage the alterations and hopefully delay the beginnings of PD.†
Investigators will learn what happens to brain function of G2019S models over a variety of ages. They expect to see early and later alterations related to the progression from healthy to diseased brain cell activity. If successful, this project could inform a next stage of research intervene and prevent transition to a disease state in these cells.
Assistant Professor in Neurology and Translational Neuroscience at University of British Columbia
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada