Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterised by a gradual but profound decline in cognitive abilities and the appearance of β-amyloid and tau aggregates (plaques and tangles) in the brain. Because the loss of memory is the most common symptom lamented by affected patients, the disease is often regarded simply as a memory disorder. In the majority of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease, however, multiple cognitive domains are compromised including attention and response control; indeed such impairments can occur early in the disease and precede language and spatial impairments. Our work in this area mainly involves developing and validating assays for phenotyping murine models of this disease across all of these domains of cognition.
We are members of a large, interdisciplinary Alzheimer's Disease Consortium, funded by the MRC/Wellcome Trust Neurodegenerative Diseases Initiative. The consortium includes groups from Cambridge, Bristol, Hamburg and Toronto and integrates tools from physics, chemistry, engineering, systems biology and neurobiology with the overarching goal of understanding how the accumulation of tau and β-amyloid proteins results in the death of brain cells.