Past Pilot Grant Recipents
The University of California, Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center (UCD ADC) invites applications for pilot research grants with support from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC)funds.
Investigators:Robert H. Fairclough, Tsung-Yu Chen, Tony Chuang
A study of b-Amyloid(1-42) activation of a-nAChR
This proposal represents a combination and synthesis of a new research interest for each of the two principal investigators. It combines. Dr. Chen?s electrophysiological and recombinant DNA expertise with Dr. Fairclough?s acetylcholine receptor (AchR) structural experience. The two investigators share a common interest in how the neuronal a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is activated by the b-amyloid peptide(1-42), and how this peptide interacts with the a7 receptor. We hope to identify parts of the b-amyloid peptide critical for binding to and activating the receptor as well as the parts of the receptor interacting with the peptide. We hope that this work will lead to a better understanding of and therapies for, Alzheimer?s disease.
Neural Substrates for Specific Characteristics of Episodic Memories
One of the earliest manifestations of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is an impairment in the ability to form and retrieve memories for recent events (episodic memories). Numerous studies suggest that regions in the medial temporal lobes (MTL) are critical for episodic memory. Accordingly, research on how MTL regions contribute to memory should provide a relevant foundation for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to AD. At present, little is known about the functional organization of the MTL and how different MTL subregions might contribute to memory. For example, behavioral research has supported the idea that the experiences of familiarity and recollection (e.g., recognizing a face as familiar versus recalling the associated name) might be supported by distinct representations, but we know little about how computations in distinct MTL subregions might relate to these forms of memory. The current project will utilize converging evidence from two methods—functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) —to precisely characterize the differential contributions of two MTL subregions—the hippocampal region and the parahippocampal region— to familiarity and recollection. The proposed experiments will be directed toward the aims of identifying how different MTL regions contribute to familiarity and recollection by examining activity in these regions during the formation and retrieval of memories for newly learned information