Research Interests

Magnetic Resonance Microimaging (μMRI) of Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent neurodegenerative disorder and the primary cause of dementia. The neuropathological features of AD include the occurrence of senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, decreased synaptic density, and loss of neurons. An obstacle in the study and treatment of Alzheimer's disease lies in the inability to definitively diagnose a patient. The development of a non-invasive method to detect early, subtle changes in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease can greatly improve early diagnosis and accurate clinical evaluation of AD. In my group we are developing non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (μMRI) methods to visualize amyloid plaque development in vivo in transgenic mouse models of AD at ultra high magnetic fields (7T, 9.4T and 17.6T). In addition, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) related blood flow defects are being examined using magnetic resonance angiography. For understanding the mechanism of AD progression, we are getting direct access to the in vivo metabolic profile with very high selectivity and resolution using localized version of two dimensional magnetic resonance spectroscopy (L-COSY, J-PRESS), which we recently developed for accessing the chemistry of the live mouse brain. Within the network of collaboration between the Paul Flechsig Institute for brain research, the Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics at Leipzig University and the University of Leiden (The Netherlands), we are particularly interested in: (1) dissecting the underlying mechanism for gender related differences in AD progression and (2) understanding the role of altered biological clock in Alzheimer's disease.

Funding:
  • Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V.
  • Centre for Medical System Biology (CMSB)
Collaborations:
  • Prof. Dr. S. Roßner, Prof. Dr. T. Arendt, Prof. Dr. R. Schliebs, Paul-Flechsig-Institute for Brain Research, Leipzig University.Prof.
  • Dr. M.A. Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
  • Prof. Dr. M.A. van Buchem, Leiden University.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Adult Zebrafish

Zebrafish is an excellent model organism for studying various human diseases. Due to opaqueness of the adult phase, in vivo studies are restricted to early embryonic stages. This raises the need for rapid sensitive and non-invasive in vivo imaging methods to follow developmental processes, not only of the embryonic phase but also of juvenile and adult stages. In my group we are developing μMRI methods for imaging live zebrafish. Furthermore, we are developing and applying 1H, 13C and 31P MR spectroscopic and imaging methods for studying changes in metabolic profile associated with various diseases in zebrafish. MR methods have been successfully employed to get access to the disease pathology in zebrafish models for malignant melanoma, cystic leukoencephalopathy, megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy and model for Lowe syndrome. In addition to adult fish, the metabolic profiling in intact zebrafish embryos at various developmental stages is being approached by HR-MAS NMR. In cooperation with Prof. Berry (Miami, Florida), we are deveolpping novel applications of HR-MAS NMR as a toxicological tool to specifically examined metabolic changes of embryos exposed to environmental neurotoxins.

Collaborations:
  • John P. Berry, Florida International University
  • Prof. A.F.L. Hurlstone, University of Manchester
  • Prof. M. Lowe, University of Manchester
  • Prof. H.J.M. de Groot, Prof. H. Spaink, Prof. M.K. Richardson, Leiden University
  • Dr. R. Estevz Povedano, University of Barcelona

 

 

letzte Änderung: 10.07.2017