alexa Early Dysfunctions Preceding Neurodegeneration In Synucleinopathy
ISSN: 2161-0460

Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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2nd International Conference on Alzheimers Disease and Dementia
September 23-25, 2014 Valencia Convention Centre, Spain

Elvira De Leonibus
ScientificTracks Abstracts: J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism
DOI: 10.4172/2161-0460.S1.006
Abstract
Motor symptoms in Parkinsons Disease (PD) represent the downstream effect of a pathological cascade leading to the degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the substantianigracompacta (SN) projecting to the striatum. Another hallmark feature of PD is late-stage occurring dementia, which is generally preceded by the occurrence of mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment has also been shown to precede motor symptoms in PD, and therefore is considered as an early clinical marker of the pathology. The neuropathological substrate of dementia in PD patients is still under debate. Latestage occurring dementia in PD has been associated to widespread neurodegeneration concomitant to the formation of Lewy bodies. Levy bodies are aggregates containing the synaptic protein ?-synuclein (?-syn), whose accumulation is considered to be one of the major causes of neurodegeneration in PD. Accordingly, overexpression of human wild-type ?-syn has been recently shown to lead to a time-dependent DA neuronal loss and motor symptoms in rats. However, the exact mechanisms through which ?-syn accumulation leads to the development of dementia in PD remain unclear. By means of sites- specific adenoviral vector (AAV) mediated overexpression of human wild-type ?-syn in the brain of adult mice we induced selective and severe memory impairment, which were specifically related to the function of the targeted regions. The cognitive defects observed, however, were not associated to neurodegeneration. These findings provide in vivo evidence showing that cognitive impairment precedes ?-syn overexpression-mediated neurodegeneration. They suggest the interesting hypothesis that ?-syn overexpression might be the cause not only of dementia occurring in the end-stage stage of PD, but also of cognitive impairment occurring in the very early stage of the disease.
Biography
Elvira De Leonibus completed her Master Degree in Psychology from University of Rome ?La Sapienza? Italy in 1999. PhD in Psychobiology and psychopharmacology from University of Rome ?La Sapienza? Italy, 2002. Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Neuropsychopharmacology from Catholic University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands between 2002-2004. from 2004-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Genetic and Molecular Biology C. Darwin from University of Rome ?La Sapienza? Italy. She completed Cognitive and Behavioral therapy specialization in Skinner Institute for research and Training. School of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapy, Rome, Italy, 1999-2004. Lecturer in Universitadeglistudi di Roma ?La Sapienza?, Rome, Italy, 2004. She is a Director of the behavioral core, Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy, 2007. Independent researcher in Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Naples, Italy, 2007-2009. CNR Researcher in Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, CNR, Naples, Italy, 2010.
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