Neuroglial circuits in health and disease

The Focus Group Neuroglial Circuits in Health and Disease includes Albrecht Struppler Clinician Scientist Dr. Benedikt Zott and doctoral student Felix Unger.

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. It is the Group’s main goal to better understand these complex circuits under physiological conditions and their break-down in the diseased brain. The Focus Group uses 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, it can be monitored how disturbed circuit functions translate to clinical deficits. Furthermore, it is possible to modulate circuit activity by pharmacology and opto- or chemogenetics. Finally, the Focus Group tests 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.