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Losing sleep over the spread of Alzheimer's disease

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This will allow me to talk about two areas of current interest in Alzheimer’s research that we are working on. The first is that interaction between circadian rhythms and the disease: it is known that people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dont sleep well at night and snooze during the day – rather than having a clear demarcation between activity and sleep. It is not known whether this behavioural arrhythmia is due to loss of the clock circuitry or whether it is due to peripheral clock oscillators ignoring the central clock. We have recreated this phenotype in our Drosophila model of AD and find that the flies become arrhythmic despite their central clock continuing to tick normally. I will discuss this data and it’s relevance for patients and present a novel method for linking behaviour to clock activity in the flies. As second part of the talk will focus on the measurement of protein aggregation seeding in tissues and correlating that with disease activity. I will talk about how we have developed an assay that we think can detect the seeding of the protein aggregation that underpins diseases such as AD. I will describe how we are trying to commercialise this assay.

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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