Molecular imaging study of pathological protein aggregation and transmission and neural circuit disruptions

Research period : 2019-2023
Principal Investigator
樋口 真人

Makoto Higuchi

Department of Functional Brain Imaging Research, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology

Diverse neurodegenerative disorders are neuropathologically characterized by accumulations of misfolded proteins in the brain, as represented by depositions of tau, α-synuclein and TDP43, and these protein aggregations have been indicated to spread through neural circuits, eventually leading to a wide range of disease-specific symptoms attributable to functional alterations of these circuits. With groundbreaking and original PET probes for tau pathologies and AMPA receptors, this translational research project reciprocally linking non-clinical and clinical imaging assessments aim to clarify molecular etiologies of neurodegenerative disorders. Studies on disease models will focus on analyses of transmissions of protein aggregations. Along with this program, imaging agents for α-synuclein and TDP43 deposits will also be developed and applied to clinical assays.

Co-Investigator
  • Masato Hasegawa

    Department of Brain and Neurosciences, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
  • Takuya Takahashi

    Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama City University
  • Taisuke Tomita

    Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo