Identifying early molecular changes underlying familial Alzheimer’s disease
To reduce the enormous social and financial impacts of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) we must understand why and how AD occurs and be able to detect the pathological process (through biomarkers) so that intervention is possible before brain damage becomes too great. There is no firm consensus on what begins the decades long progression to AD. New technologies allow precise engineering of genomes and detailed gene expression analysis of tissues. However, there has not yet been any detailed analysis of the early brain changes in a fAD mutation model. The least studied fAD gene is SORL1. It is uncertain whether fAD mutations in SORL1 are dominant. My project will be to introduce fAD mutations into zebrafish SORL1 and then analyse their effects on transcriptome expression in young brains. This will also suggest biomarkers for early detection of the pathological processes leading to AD and will resolve the question of SORL1 fAD mutation loss or change of function.
Dr Seyyed Hani Moussavi Nik is currently a postdoctoral research scientist at The University of Adelaide.