Cerebral Microvasculature and Inflammation Laboratory

Lab head: Karen Cullen
Location: Anderson Stuart Building, Camperdown Campus

The central hypothesis of the studies conducted by this laboratory is that capillary microhaemorrhages result in the classic neuropathology of Alzheimer's Disease. These microhaemorrhages (>200 µm) around capillaries coincide with ß-A plaques. They occur chronically and result in both acute neuronal death and slowly developing neurofibrillary degeneration. This hypothesis can account for the key disease features, including late age onset cardiovascular risk factors, progression of cognitive changes, cortical shrinkage, the inflammatory profile and the anatomy of neurodegeneration. Understanding the causes of microvascular breakdown and inflammatory sequelae are important in the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Lab members: Karen M Cullen

Chronological development of cytoskeletal abnormalities in Alzheimer's disease

Primary supervisor: Karen Cullen

This project investigates the development of cytoskeletal lesions in the Alzheimer's Disease brain. Postmortem brain tissue from well-characterised Alzheimer's Disease cases with very early stage to late stage degeneration will be used to determine the progression of cytoskeletal abnormalities from early to late-stage disease. Results will be validated using a primary neuronal cell culture model. Techniques will include immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and electron microscopy.

Discipline: Anatomy & Histology
Co-supervisors: Claire Goldsbury
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Ageing, Nervous system diseases