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AAIC 2022 | Can astrocytes influence neuropsychiatric symptoms in neurodegenerative disease?

In a new, ongoing exploration in the lab, Dr Carole Escartin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Paris Saclay, Fontenay-aux-roses, France, is investigating neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in neurodegenerative diseases and the potential role of astrocyte dysfunction in their emergence. NPS can often be overlooked in preclinical trials as Dr Escartin claims it is difficult to replicate these symptoms in models. Studies have shown that astrocytes can regulate emotions such as fear, anxiety, and depressive-like symptoms. Anxiety, anhedonia, and defects in social interactions have all be observed following protein manipulation in mouse models. Dr Escartin believes there is a need to further investigate the role of astrocyte alterations in neurodegenerative disease-associated NPS. Thus, when conducting astrocyte manipulation studies, her team assess these symptoms as part of the study outcomes. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.