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Imaging synapses in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

Tuesday 20 February 2024, 1.00PM to 2:30pm

Speaker(s): Professor Tara Spires-Jones, University of Edinburgh

Synapse loss correlates strongly with the progression of symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia, but mechanisms of synapse loss remain poorly understood. Our group has observed the accumulation of pathological proteins amyloid beta, tau, and alpha synuclein within individual synapses in neurodegenerative diseases. Further, we find evidence of trans-synaptic spread of pathological proteins from pre to post synapses which contributes to the spread of pathology and neurodegeneration through the brain. We also observe that astrocytes and microglia are important in synapse degeneration. Understanding synapse degeneration and the spread of pathological proteins through synapses will be important for developing disease modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Read more about Professor Spires-Jones' research

Location: B/K/018 (Dianna Bowles Lecture Theatre)