Synaptic pathology in Alzheimer's disease
CSF and Blood Biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease
My laboratory studies pathways leading to synapse loss in Alzheimer's. Many in the field hold the hypothesis that Alzheimer's disease begins in the synapse, and it's important to define the earliest molecular changes, when there may be opportunity for reversal. My lab has developed methods for flow cytometry analysis of synaptosomes, which are resealed nerve terminals obtained by homogenization of brain in sucrose. We study postmortem human tissue from Alzheimer's and control patients, as well as transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. A main focus is the mechanism by which apolipoprotein E contributes to genetic risk for Alzheimer's.
Collaborative projects with the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Research at UCLA are directed at finding CSF and blood biomarkers for early identification and monitoring of treatments in AD patients.