Understanding glymphatic contribution to cognitive impairment
Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by cognitive impairment and the accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain. Recent studies have suggested that impairment of a brain fluid pathway for waste clearance – the glymphatic system – is likely a major cause of the accumulation of toxins. This has opened new directions for treating dementia but no therapeutics have been found due to the lack of understanding of its regulatory pathway. On the other hand, waste clearance is also essential for optimal brain function. Whether and how deficient waste clearance contributes to the most fundamental symptom of dementia, memory impairment, is still unknown. This research proposal aims to understand whether suppression of the glymphatic system can impair cognitive function and to identify potential new targets for future therapeutic research in dementia. Dr Li will combine advanced imaging and behavioural test to examine the effects of modulating the glymphatic system on memory in an animal model of dementia. The research findings from this project will provide key knowledge about the glymphatic function and target for the treatment of cognitive decline in dementia.
Dr Zengmin Li a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland.