Synaptic and immune system changes in the brains of mice with rising amyloid beta. Can we improve mouse models for Alzheimer's disease?

Frances Edwards is Professor of Neurodegeneration at the Department of Neuroscience Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London.
Frances is also currently affiliated with the Editorial Boards of FEBS Letters and BMC Neuroscience, the Chair of Examiners for MSc Neuroscience at UCL, and is a Core member of Institute of Healthy Ageing at UCL.

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition and its increasing prevalence in our ageing society imposes an increasing personal and financial burden. So far there is no treatment available to prevent, cure or delay its progression and this has become one of the most urgent challenges of our time. A major impediment to progress has been the lack of animal models in which rising amyloid beta leads to Tau pathology and consequent neurodegeneration. The models we have are however useful for understanding the earliest changes that occur as amyloid beta rises in the brain. In this seminar I present our results on the earliest synaptic changes and the interaction of amyloid pathology and the immune system in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. How do changes in mouse models relate to our knowledge of the human condition and how can we use this information to develop improved animal models?