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Enhancing Neuroplasticity in a Circuit Specific Manner to Restore Motor Behavior in Parkinson's Disease


142 ISEC

December 19, 2017 3:00 pm
December 19, 2017 3:00 pm

Associate Dean Gene Tunik and the Bouvé research office are pleased to invite you to attend a lecture:

“Enhancing neuroplasticity in a circuit specific manner to restore motor behavior in Parkinson's disease”

Associate Professor Michael Jakowec Keck School of Medicine, USC

December 19, 2017 3:00 – 4:00 pm 142 ISEC

Dr. Jakowec is Associate Professor of Research Neurology at the Keck School of Medicine, USC. His laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms involved in neuroplasticity in the injured brain with the emphasis on the basal ganglia, a region of the brain responsible for motor behavior. Currently, his laboratory is exploring the interactions between the neurotransmitter systems involving dopamine, glutamate and serotonin and finding ways to manipulate them to enhance motor behavior.

Abstract: Studies in our lab have shown that exercise in the form of treadmill running can restore motor and cognitive dysfunction in animal models of Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Recent work has begun to suggest that different forms of exercise, including skill-based exercise, can target specific cognitive and motor circuits to promote recovery by enhancing synaptogenesis and blood flow. This discussion will highlight our molecular and behavioral studies in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders including the potential roles played by metabolic energetics, hypoxia, and the contribution of non-neuronal cells including astrocytes. Furthermore, basic research studies are allowing us to design and interpret clinical applications of exercise and the potential role of exercise in possibly modifying disease progression.