Researchers Uncover Therapeutic Target for Frontotemporal Dementia

Researchers Uncover Therapeutic Target for Frontotemporal Dementia
brain receptorsA new study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests a potential therapy for a type of neurotransmitter receptor for Frontotemporal Dementia. The study entitled ”Tau-Mediated NMDA Receptor Impairment Underlies Dysfunction of a Selectively Vulnerable Network in a Mouse Model of Frontotemporal Dementia,” was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham lead by Dr. Erik Roberson M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurology. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) FTD is neurodegenerative behavior disorder affecting the salience network and the ventral striatum and insula, and causes symptoms such as repetitive behavior, personality changes, social withdraw, apathy and disinhibition. Evidence shows that Tau mutations (encoded by the MAPT gene) are in the basis of this disorder, however it remains unclear how Tau mutations damage the salience network. The team of researchers from UAB used a mouse model expressing the entire human tau gene with the FTD-associated V337M mutation. The mice had aging-dependent repetitive and disinhibited behaviors and synaptic deficits in the ventral striatum and insula. In a recent press release, Dr. Erik Roberson said, "We found that mutant tau impairs synapses — the connec
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