Impact of aging and neurodegneration on neuromodulatory circuits

Olfactory impairments are a common symptom during healthy and pathological aging in humans and animal models. As such, standardized odour tests are currently widely available as a useful diagnostic tool for cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer´s disease (AD). However, it remains unknown how natural and pathological aging impacts neuronal circuits. In this project, we investigate the adaptations of the olfactory system through the lifespan, with a focus on the action of neuromodulatory circuits. Our laboratory has implemented a multidisciplinary approach combining neuronal mapping using viral-mediated tracers, electrophysiology and behavioral testing to explore the neuromodulatory innervation of the olfactory bulb. Since olfactory cues are the main drivers of social behavior in rodent species, we also investigate the effect of aging and olfactory decline on social performance.

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