BDRA studies mechanisms underlying the development, repair and ageing of the brain, using cerebellar and hippocampal models in vivo and in vitro, to address fundamental biological bases of these phenomena and to explore clinical applications.
The team’s multidisciplinary approach, from molecules to behavior and bench to the clinic, expands the Unit’s research fields into the evolution of accumulating synaptic dysfunction with time and the potential for its repair.
We are studying genes and signaling pathways that allow selective synapse stabilization during olivocerebellar development and promote appropriate post-lesion repair. We also examine the formation, maintenance and disruption of homeostatic synaptic plasticity, which is necessary to maintain functional stability in neural circuits while allowing their flexibility. Finally, we investigate the roles of different proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease to understand early hippocampal synaptic dysfunction during this age-related pathology.
In addition we are applying our understanding of neural circuit function, stability and repair to develop translational approachs. First we are building on our expertise in non-invasive psychomotor and rTMS brain stimulation to optimize maintenance, protection and repair of synaptic circuits in the damaged or ageing brain. Second, we are applying a new complete test of cognitive function, in particular episodic memory, to ageing patients in order to provide earlier diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction, thus allowing early therapeutic intervention.