Imaging the Rescue of Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease Mice
Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that can block blood flow in the brain by getting stuck in capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels. Ly6G is a protein present in neutrophils, and inhibiting it withantibodies leads to increased blood flow in the brain, possibly by keeping the neutrophils from getting stuck. New studies using lab models of Alzheimer's disease have linked the restored blood flow to improved performance on tasks that test spatial and memory skills.
Working with a lab model of Alzheimer's disease, Matthew Isaacson, PhD, and his colleagues will track blood flow in the brain before and after Ly6G antibody treatment. At the same time, they will assess whether the increased blood flow rescues neural activity in their Alzheimer's model.
The researchers also will study the hippocampus, a key brain structure involved in forming and accessing long-term memories. Using sophisticated real-time imaging, they will track how their awake research subjects perform on a complex virtual reality navigating task before and after Ly6G antibody treatment.
Determining where blood flow improves in the brain and the effects on the hippocampus before and after treatment may offer new ways to both diagnose Alzheimer's and identify therapeutic targets.