Understanding the dynamics of TDP-43 aggregation in FTD using advanced imaging tools
Fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) is associated with progressive damage to the aspects of the human brain involved in the control of movement, problem solving, memory, social behaviour and other vital functions. Post-mortem sampling of the brains of people who have lived with FTD revealed the presence of large clumps of proteins, which are toxic and damaging to the brain. Researchers are yet to identify why these proteins begin to cluster. My research therefore aims to elucidate why and how these proteins clump. Further, the nerves of the brain have intrinsic protective waste-disposal mechanisms that are normally responsible for clearing up these protein clumps. However, in FTD these protective mechanisms fail. My research will potentially identify where the protein clumping begins, how the clumps overwhelm the brain’s waste disposal-recycle machinery for damaged proteins and help identify potential drugs that can halt or reverse the clumping of these proteins. My work has the unique potential of providing an early diagnostic tool prior to the observation of any FTD associated symptoms. Further, it will provide the opportunity to screen the effect of new drugs on the protein clumps prior to commencing clinical trials.
Dr Bademosi works as a Post-doctoral researcher in both Dr Adam Walker's and Professor Frederic Meunier’s labs at the Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland.