Optogenetic Manipulation Of The Cholinergic System: Potential Implications For The Treatment Of Memory Deficits In Alzheimer’s Disease

Volume 1 Issue 1
Article Information

Abstract

Successful treatment of psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases depends crucially on our fundamental knowledge of how information is processed and stored by the brain. Understanding the interaction between neuromodulation and signal encoding would essentially aid the progress of their treatment. Given the reciprocal connections between cholinergic and hippocampal networks, it is important to investigate their functional effect on the symptoms of memory impairment. The convergence between neuromodulatory models and behavioral research is finally possible due to tremendous growth of physiological data about neuronal signal processing, as well as external control over of local circuits via electrical microstimulation and optogenetically triggered activation. Optical neural control therapy is an emerging tool in neuroscience that targets the fundamental understanding and treating of a wide range of brain-based disorders. Although this methodology is currently developed on a basic neuroscience level, the latest advances in optogenetics are successfully applied for primate research and pre-clinical testing.

Key words: acetylcholine, Optogenetics, Episodic memory, Alzheimer’s disease, Medial septum.

Acknowledgments: This work was supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board and the Wellcome Trust under Biomedical Research Partnership with grant number: 099926/Z/12/Z to Marian Tsanov.