Identifying Brain-Wide Network Disruptions That Underlie Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease has effects throughout the brain, changing how different regions connect and communicate. These changes in brain-wide networks can vary from person to person, though, calling for ways to individualize therapies that target them.
Ariel Gilad, PhD, and colleagues aim to define important target regions while considering individual features as a first step toward using deep brain stimulation to treat Alzheimer's disease. This kind of therapy involves the implantation of electrodes in specific brain areas for therapeutic stimulation.
Working with lab models of Alzheimer's disease, the group will record brain network activity during the completion of cognitive tasks. The researchers plan to follow these patterns throughout each subject's lifespan to learn more about how individual traits affect these brain networks in Alzheimer's disease. They will map numerous brain regions simultaneously that have never been analyzed at the same time in these models.
The work will rely on state-of-the-art tools for following brain network activity as lab subjects freely move about and solve cognitive tasks. Many of the regions that Dr. Gilad and his team will monitor have rarely been studied in Alzheimer's disease.
The ultimate goal of this innovative, expansive study is to identify target brain regions for deep brain stimulation, which, if successful, could lead to individualized treatments for Alzheimer's disease.