University of Queensland, Australia
Title: Causes and consequences of cholinergic basal forebrain degeneration in Dementia
Abstract: Epidemiological studies indicate that sleep-disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnoea is a strong risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease but the mechanisms of the risk remain unclear. We developed a method of modelling sleep-disordered breathing in mice that replicates key features of the human condition: altered breathing during sleep, sleep disruption, moderate hypoxemia and cognitive impairment. Using this model we have discovered mechanisms underpinning neurodegeneration in the brain and found ways to inhibit these pathways in preclinical studies. In parallel we have established medical imaging methods for quantifying the consequences of the neurodegeneration providing insights into the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
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