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Mouse-Brain Model Maps Spread of Alpha-Synuclein in Parkinson's Disease


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Spread of alpha-synuclein pathology from a single injection site (dark orange) on the right hemisphere of a mouse brain and a network model of that spread on the left.

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and its Alzheimer's Disease Research Center have developed a computational model of a mouse brain.

Credit: Michael X. Henderson/University of Pennsylvania

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and its Alzheimer's Disease Research Center have developed a computational mouse model that simulates the spread of the misfolded alpha-synuclein protein found in Parkinson's and other diseases throughout the brain.

The team built its network diffusion model from a map of mouse brain areas and their connecting pathways, in order to better understand how the protein alpha-synuclein spreads through the brain and where it tends to accumulate.

The researchers said their network brain model offers a new way to “test hypotheses of spreading patterns, timing, directionality, and vulnerability.”

The U.S. National Institute on Aging awarded the researchers a grant to support their continued exploration of how alpha-synuclein proteins spread, and how that can lead to neurodegenerative disease.

From National Institute on Aging
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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