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AD/PD 2023 | Prioritizing research on neuromodulatory subcortical systems for new insights in Alzheimer’s disease

Alexander J. Ehrenberg, PhD candidate, University of California, Berkeley, CA, introduces the neuromodulatory subcortical systems Professional Interest Area (PIA) of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART) and their priorities for research. PIAs bring together researchers from diverse disciplines with a common focus, enabling networking and mentoring, promoting knowledge sharing and research collaborations, and creating educational content for the wider research community. The neuromodulatory subcortical systems PIA was established in 2020, focused on understanding the biology of the subcortical nuclei and their role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. These nuclei are the first regions of the brain to accumulate AD pathology and degeneration of these areas is linked with clinical symptoms that precede cognitive decline and may exacerbate disease progression, such as sleep dysfunction. These structures are also critically involved in arousal, memory, attention, and various neuropsychiatric symptoms, which strongly link to AD. The team believe gaining a more in depth understanding of the subcortical systems holds great promise for biomarker and therapeutic target discovery, given their involvement at such an early stage of disease. This interview took place at the AD/PD™ 2023 congress in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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AJE has received support for travel from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, has received consulting fees from Epiodyne Inc., holds stock in Eiger Biopharmecuticals, is a Science Editor for “Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association”, and serves on the executive committee for the Neuromodulatory Subcortical Systems PIA of ISTAART.