A main goal of our activity is the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, we have developed technological tools for the recording of electroencephalography and electromyography signals in animals without restriction of movement and without anestesia. We have also characterized behavioral states (wake/sleep cycle) by semiautomatic scoring.
In this area we aim to study cerebral rhythms and cycle sleep-awake stages in mouse models of Alzheimer´s disease, searching for abnormal patterns of activity with valuable potential as biomarkers for early diagnosis in the clinics. Although the objective is defined within the framework of Alzheimer's disease, results obtained in this topic and technological tools can be implemented in other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Huntington's or Parkinson´s diseases; since multiple evidences relate neurodegeneration with sleep wake cycle abnormalities during preclinical and prodromal diagnosis.
(A) Representative coronal section of a 9-month-old 5XFAD mouse brain stained with Thioflavin S showing amyloid plaques marked in green. Amyloid deposits reach a very large burden especially in deep cortical layers (Cx), hippocampus (Hp) and thalamus (Th). (B) Cognitive deficits (spatial memory) examined with the Y-maze spontaneous alternation test in the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Fernández-García et al. 2016. Safety and tolerability of silk fibroin hydrogels implanted into the mouse brain. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.09.003.
Representative EEG epoch of a 5 month-old 5XFAD mouse during wake and its correponding EMG signal. The mouse had free movement while recording.