Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Science, Tufts University, Biopsychology (2012)
A guide to using functional magnetic resonance imaging to study Alzheimer's disease in animal models.
Disease models & mechanisms
2018; 11 (5)
Alzheimer's disease is a leading healthcare challenge facing our society today. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain has played an important role in our efforts to understand how Alzheimer's disease alters brain function. Using fMRI in animal models of Alzheimer's disease has the potential to provide us with a more comprehensive understanding of the observations made in human clinical fMRI studies. However, using fMRI in animal models of Alzheimer's disease presents some unique challenges. Here, we highlight some of these challenges and discuss potential solutions for researchers interested in performing fMRI in animal models. First, we briefly summarize our current understanding of Alzheimer's disease from a mechanistic standpoint. We then overview the wide array of animal models available for studying this disease and how to choose the most appropriate model to study, depending on which aspects of the condition researchers seek to investigate. Finally, we discuss the contributions of fMRI to our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and the issues to consider when designing fMRI studies for animal models, such as differences in brain activity based on anesthetic choice and ways to interrogate more specific questions in rodents beyond those that can be addressed in humans. The goal of this article is to provide information on the utility of fMRI, and approaches to consider when using fMRI, for studies of Alzheimer's disease in animal models.
View details for PubMedID 29784664