A Novel Whole-brain Method for In Vivo Imaging of Progressive Neurodegeneration
Neurodegenerative disorders arise as components of the nervous system deteriorate with age. The symptoms accompanying this deterioration become progressively worse, compromising an individual’s ability to function. The progressive and widespread nature of neurodegenerative diseases pose particular challenges to understanding the mechanisms responsible. While considerable progress has been made at the molecular level, how these biochemical events lead to clinical symptoms remains poorly understood. Here we propose to develop a powerful new model system to study progressive neurodegeneration. We will induce neurodegeneration and use cutting-edge non-invasive imaging technology to make longitudinal measurements of brain function. Simultaneously we will monitor emergent symptoms with quantitative measures of behavior. Our aim is to reveal mechanisms of progressive dysfunction and build a framework to one day evaluate therapeutic approaches.