S2E2: Deep Brain Degeneration in Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Lea Grinberg & Research Team

Deep Brain Degeneration in Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Lea Grinberg & Research Team

Losing Control from the Locus Coeruleus, starring Jonathan Chen, Felipe Pereira, and Ian Oh

This episode kicks off a series all about my recent work in neurodegenerative disease, with a an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating and complex dementia and a major focus of my (Dr. Connor Wander’s) dissertation at UNC Chapel Hill.

And where better to start than where the first major pathological changes of tau, a disordered protein that goes dysfunctional in the brain, begins to accumulate and kill neurons.  This ground zero may be in neurons in the deep recesses of the brain act as central regulators of blood flow, inflammation, and neural network dynamics and seem particularly vulnerable to tau in those early, PRe symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  I caught up with Dr. Lea Grinberg, Jonathan Chen, Felipe Pereira, and Ian Oh, members of her research team to define the current cutting edge in these studies.

Dr. Lea Grinberg is an Endowed Professor at UCSF with a very active research group focused on early pathological changes in Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Grinberg was and is a pioneer in identifying early pathological changes in AD tied to tau aggregation in the locus coeruleus, or LC.

We touched on the network modulatory function of the LC in the most recent episode with Dr. Esteban Oryarzabal. Loss of the LC and other brainstem nuclei is associated with a host of mood and sleep disorders that could be the key to understanding early Alzheimer’s disease.   Check the link below for more from Dr. Grinberg on the links between sleep, Alzheimer’s, and the loss of these brainstem nuclei.  Keep listening for great details on how these studies are conducted, and what’s next on the horizon for research into AD therapeutics and disease processes.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast:

Alzheimer’s: Sleep Under Siege

Ab-Seq method discussed by Felipe

More about the Grinberg lab

Make sure to check episodes 41 for an intro to Alzheimers disease, and episode 46 for a discussion on how to keep your brain active as you age!

Caspase cleavage of tau

Keep an eye out for future episodes on Alzheimer’s disease and other afflictions of aging!

Alzheimer’s disease and neuroscience articles, podcasts, and games

An update on anti-amyloid clinical trials

An older episode on what amyloid beta does in the brain

More about the different cell types of the brain, including 86 billion neurons!



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