The most common neurological disorders, most of which are triggered by aging, cost the US over $800 billion annually. Normal and pathological aging promote cognitive and motor decline, symptoms that typically arise due to degeneration of specific neurons or circuits in the brain. These disorders include, but are not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Using our viral-genetic strategies we aim to identify the neural circuit abnormalities that contribute to these disorders. Importantly, we will elucidate how these circuits are changed before the onset of pathology. These studies will both identify novel molecular and circuit targets for therapeutic development, as well as generate biomarkers for early clinical diagnosis of pathology.