MAR 20, 2014 1:00 PM PDT

Neurogenesis, cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer's disease

Presented at: Neuroscience
Speakers
  • Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois College of Medicine
    Biography
      r. Lazarov started her scientific career as a graduate student at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. There, she joined the research group of Professor Michal Schwartz, where she studied the cross talk between the immune system and the central nervous system in relation to nerve trauma. She was granted The Feinberg Graduate School Fellowship of Distinction for Outstanding Achievement in Studies and Research and the Feinberg Graduate School Award for Distinguished Ph.D. Students. After graduation she joined the research group of Professor Sangram S. Sisodia at the University of Chicago. Dr. Lazarov studied and characterized multiple aspects of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology. Her pioneering studies showed that in addition to genetics, environmental factors play a major role in the formation of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Lazarov joined the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2005, where she established a research group that studies neurogenesis and plasticity in aging and in Alzheimer's disease.

    Abstract:

    Neural stem cells exist in the adult mammalian brain throughout life. They reside in the subgranular layer of the dentate gyrus and in the subventricular zone. Neural stem cells have the capability to self-renew, proliferate and differentiate into neurons and glia. The existence of neurogenesis permits high level of brain plasticity and provides a source for cellular replacement. Importantly, new neurons play a role in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Thus, modulation of neurogenesis has a high therapeutic value, once the molecular signaling regulating these processes is unraveled. This might be particularly critical for aging-linked cognitive decline, such as occurs in Alzheimers disease. Neurogenesis is impaired early in life in Alzheimers mouse models, and major players in Alzheimers disease regulate neural progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation. This lecture will discuss the molecular link between neurogenesis and Alzheimers disease and the ways by which impairments in neurogeneis may contribute to or exacerbate the disease. Finally, we will discuss neurogenesis-based therapy for the amelioration or attenuation of Alzheimers disease.


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