Neurobiology of Memory
Our research group is interested in the neurobiological mechanisms that lead to the earliest and most characteristic symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), impairment of recent memory. Since the earliest pathological changes of AD cannot be studied in a human post mortem brain (except in rare genetically determined forms of the disease), we will use as a disease model transgenic mice that carry human familial AD linked mutations found in a Swedish (APPswe) and a Finnish (PSEN1dE9) family. With the help of these mice we can follow the development of pathophysiological changes at the cellular level from their onset. The neuropathology we will examine by using various histochemical stainings and with fluorescence and confocal microscopy.
We assess the disease-associated symptoms in mice by various behavioral tests, mostly those drawing on different memory processes. Furthermore, we study the brain function by electrophysiological recordings. We monitor mouse sleep-wake rhythm and sleep-related epileptiform discharges with video-EEG. In addition, we assess the communication between different brain regions during a memory task and the following sleep epoch by recording brain oscillations and neuronal activity with implanted deep electrodes. In collaboration with prof. Olli Gröhn’s group (AIVI) we conduct simultaneous EEG and functional MRI recordings.
We also carry out preclinical studies investigating the impact of new drugs or other treatments on the AD disease process and memory impairment. Our group was the first one to demonstrate that the latest AD drug memantine has beneficial memory effects in an AD mouse model.
Irina GurevicieneSenior ResearcherFaculty of Health Sciences, A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences
Nanxiang JinProject ResearcherFaculty of Health Sciences, A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences
Rana MabroukEarly Stage ResearcherFaculty of Health Sciences, A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences
Sara HäkliPhD student
Elisa ArokoskiEarly Stage Researcher, PhD student