Finding early risk factors and therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is fundamental for prevention and treatment of this disease. Stressful experiences early in life are a risk factor that accelerate memory decline later in life and increase Alzheimer pathology. Microglia cells, the immune cells of the brain, are key in Alzheimer pathology and are impacted by early-life stress. In this project, we study in particular whether and how stress-hormones via microglial cells are involved in early life induced changes in AD pathology, synaptic dysfunction and cognitive decline. This major grant of €320,000, funded by Alzheimer Nederland is a collaborative project with Dr Harm Krugers (UvA), Dr Aniko Korosi (UvA), Prof. Onno Meijer (Leiden University Medical Center), and Prof. Paul J. Lucassen (UvA).
Sylvie Lesuis (Cellular and Computational Neuroscience) received an Early Career Grant. This is a €53,000 personal grant for young researchers. This amount will allow her to conduct research on changes in brain cells during memory loss in Alzheimer's Disease.
We suspect that altered excitatory/inhibitory balance might be an early factor contribution to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. In this research project, we aim to study how the shift in this balance affects the activity of those neurons in the brain that encode a memory, allowing us to understand how these memories are stored differently in the brain as Alzheimer's progresses.