Altered glutamate dynamics in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease: Novel early biomarkers with therapeutic potential

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research/The Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. With no cure available, it imposes a major burden on society. In AD, a protein called amyloid beta accumulates into plaques in the brain. This event is an early and predictive marker for AD and can be detected up to 20 years before clinical symptoms arise.

We are exploring the dysfunction and hyperactivity of various cell types in the presence of amyloid plaques. We will investigate the possible role of altered glutamate dynamics in mouse models of AD. Fluorescent labelling will shed light on changes in glutamate signalling in awake and behaving AD mice. We will also test whether Ceftriaxone can restore normal glutamate dynamics in these mice.

Ultimately, our work with AD mouse models and novel glutamate imaging could shed light on possible drug targets and enable early intervention for people with Alzheimer’s disease.