MBL Eugene Bell Center Director Jennifer Morgan has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits that occur in Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and variants of Alzheimer’s disease.
A pathological hallmark of these diseases is aggregation of the protein α-synuclein at synapses, the junctions between nerve cells, which is thought to be the cause of cognitive deficits and dementia. By identifying how α-synuclein affects synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmission, this project aims to provide direct insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic defects in synuclein-related diseases, and provide critical knowledge for designing targeted therapies for these diseases and for other conditions in which synapse function is compromised, such as brain and spinal cord injury, neuromuscular disorders, and stroke.
The grant is issued through the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.
Photo: Principal Investigator Jennifer Morgan