ALS: Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Cortical mechanisms in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
2011 Seed Grant
Gordon Shepherd, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Physiology
Northwestern University

The neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a fatal paralytic disorder characterized by cell death of corticospinal neurons. Early in the disease process cortical circuits are hyperexcitable, but specific mechanisms have not been identified. High-resolution imaging and electrophysiological analysis of specific microcircuits of corticospinal neurons will reveal, for the first time, how these neurons are ‘mis-wired’ in ALS, with high potential for identifying new cellular/molecular targets for therapeutic interventions.

Other Grants

Andre Berndt, Ph.D.
Monitoring Communication in Neuronal Networks in Real Time and at Single Cell Resolution
Visualizing the flow of information through the complex and intertwined networks of the brain is a long‐sought goal of neuroscience. Genetically encoded proteins such as the fluorescent calcium sensor GCaMP…
Denise Cai, Ph.D.
Investigating the Role of Negative Valence in the Temporal Dynamics of Memory-Linking
Determining how distinct memories are formed, linked, and retrieved, and the role of fear in these processes, is an essential part of understanding PTSD, a debilitating disorder characterized by the…
Dr. Weizhe Hong, Ph.D.
Dissecting the Organization and Function of Social Behavioral Circuits in the Amygdala
Social interactions play a crucial role in the reproduction, survival, and physical and mental health of many vertebrate species including humans. Impairment in social behavior is a hallmark of several…
Takashi Kitamura, Ph.D.
Neural Circuit Mechanisms of Behavior-Dependent Representation for Space and Time
The central question in my proposal is whether our perception of time and space share the same circuit mechanisms during our daily life. Recent studies suggest that neurons in the…