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2011 Grants - Chin
Dysregulation of Corticothalamic Circuitry in Alzheimer's Disease
Jeannie Chin, Ph.D.
Thomas Jefferson University
2011 New Investigator Research Grant
In many cases, persons with Alzheimer's disease also experience one or more types of seizures in the brain, similar to epilepsy. One of the main pathways in the brain susceptible to such seizures is the corticothalamic pathway, by which nerve cells in the brain cortex send signals to nerve cells in a region called the thalamus. This pathway is also important for cognitive function, learning and memory, and other vital brain functions.
It has long been thought that seizures in Alzheimer's disease are caused by the disease process. Recent evidence, however, suggests that some seizures may contribute to disease progression. In mice that have been genetically modified to express Alzheimer's-like properties, for example, control of seizures can reduce cognitive decline.
Jeannie Chin, Ph.D. and colleagues have proposed to study how abnormal activity and seizures develop in the corticothalamic pathway of mice genetically modified to express Alzheimer's-like pathology. The researchers will also test whether treatments to inhibit such seizures can reduce the progression of cognitive decline. These studies may help to identify new strategies to prevent or slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.