How do microglia-synapse dynamics change with Alzheimer's disease?
Historically, microglia are referred to as the immune cells of the central nervous system. This project explores the emerging role of microglia in facilitating changes to neuronal connections, synaptic plasticity or the ability of the brain to remodel throughout the lifespan in response to a changing environment. Using state of the art imaging techniques this project explores microglia-synapse interactions in real-time, to elucidate their role in Alzheimer’s disease. Using our innovative approach to understanding the role of microglia at the synapse, our findings may represent a major advance in our understanding how synaptic connections are regulated and are likely to be fundamental in informing any therapeutic manipulation of microglia to induce neuroplasticity in models of health and disease.
Dr Jenna Ziebell is a Lecturer at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania.