Duration of the project
01.06.2018. - 30.11.2018.
Countries and institutions involved in the project
Aim of the project
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterised by progressive memory loss, cognitive decline, impairment of language, decision making and social skills. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia affecting over 46 million people worldwide and estimated to triple by the year 2050. It has a long preclinical stage, and before any clinical symptoms appear, pathological processes are observed in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Specifically, beta-amyloid peptides accumulate forming extracellular neuritic plaques leading to progressive dendritic atrophy, synaptic and neuronal loss. In addition, cholinergic neuromodulation, essential for memory formation and learning, is heavily impaired. Alzheimer’s disease can’t be prevented, halted and cured yet, and new interdisciplinary ways are urgently needed for the understanding and treatment of this devastating disease.
Theoretical/computational neuroscience is a modern tool to integrate available neuroscience knowledge and provide insights into the dynamics of molecular, cellular and system level mechanisms underlying brain disorders. Computational modeling approach will be used to analyze complex interactions of synaptic dysfunction and dendritic atrophy due to beta-amyloid peptide accumulation, deficient cholinergic neuromodulation in Alzheimer’s disease. Integrated with the newly developed in vitro approaches to specifically dissect brain cell interactions, it will offer a powerful tool to study mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders.
Main activities of the project
- Scientific research (theoretical/ computational modelling of Alzheimer’s disease), Neuroscience Institute of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania.
- Scientific research (theoretical/ computational modelling of Alzheimer’s disease and analysis of experimental data), Justus-Liebig-University, Faculty of Medicine, Gießen, Germany.
- Two research visits:
German researchers to Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (19-22 September 2018) and Lithuanian researchers to Justus-Liebig-University, Faculty of Medicine, Gießen, Germany (16-19 October 2018).
- Interdisciplinary workshop “Understanding the dynamics of neurodegenerative diseases: integrating computational and experimental neuroscience”, Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania, 20 September 2018.
- Guest lecture “Learning deficits induced by synaptic and dendritic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease”, Justus-Liebig-University, Faculty of Medicine, Gießen, Germany, 17 October 2018.
- The project activities will be presented on the home page of the Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
highlighting the importance of integration of theoretical/computational neuroscience tools with the wet-lab experiments in understanding the neurodegenerative diseases along the need and benefits of international collaboration between Lithuania and Germany.
Target group and number of persons involved
- Researchers of the Neuroscience Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (17 persons).
- Researchers of the 3R Center, Faculty of Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen (5).
- Students and faculty members of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (more than 300)
- Students and faculty members of Justus-Liebig-University Gießen (more than 500).