Neuroglial circuits in health and disease

Neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease are characterized by the dysfunction of neurons, which, due to the high connectivity of the brain, lead to the impairment of neuronal and glial circuits and even hemodynamic dysregulation. Our main goal is to better understand these complex circuits under physiological conditions and their break-down in the diseased brain. We use two-photon imaging of calcium or glutamate and electrophysiology to detect neuronal and/or glial activity in the living brain of model organisms in real-time. By performing behavioral experiments, we can monitor how disturbed circuit functions translate to clinical deficits. Furthermore, we can modulate circuit activity by pharmacology and opto- or chemogenetics.  Finally, we test strategies to restore normal activity patterns in the brains of diseased individuals, which might facilitate the identification of drug candidates against Alzheimer’s disease and other related pathologies.