Investigation of age-related alteration to hippocampal elemental and biochemical homeostasis and neuro-vascular function, as a means to identify new therapeutic strategies to minimise or delay dementia onset in the elderly
Australia is facing a crisis from the enormous health care costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. New research into pathways that contribute to the disease are urgently needed, to identify lifestyle strategies or therapies to prevent, minimise or delay dementia. Of all the organs, the brain has the highest energy demands, which makes blood vessels, the suppliers of vital energy and nutrients to the brain, essential to healthy brain function. Several researchers have proposed that damage to blood vessels in the brain, may upset finely balanced biochemical relationships, potentially driving the progression of dementia. However, identifying when and where such events occur has been difficult. My aim in this project is to use newly developed imaging techniques, made possible with incredibly bright synchrotron light, to study changes in biochemical and metal levels that occur inside brain cells after damage to blood vessels.
Mark Hackett is a lecturer in Analytical Chemistry, in the school of Molecular and Life Sciences at Curtin University. Mark's research sits at the interface of Analytical Chemistry and Neuroscience, and he is affiliated and supported by the Curtin Institute for Functional Molecules and Interfaces (CIFMI) and the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI).