Synaptopathy in ALS/FTD

Synaptopathy in ALS/FTD
Theme: Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders

Wednesday 26th April, 09:30 – 11:10

Synapses are critical for normal brain function, so it's not surprising that synaptic pathology plays a central role in neurodegenerative disease. Synapse loss is an early event in disease pathogenesis, so slowing it down or halting it completely would have major impact on public health, as dementia care alone costs the UK around £35 billion annually. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of Motor Neuron Disease (MND). It is considered primarily a disease of the motor system and at first glance, appears very different to Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), the second most common form of dementia, after Alzheimer's Disease. However, ALS and FTD lie at opposite ends of a disease spectrum, displaying significant genetic, pathological, and clinical overlap. Synapse loss is an early feature of these diseases and associates with clinical presentation, however the mechanisms driving this loss remain elusive. This symposium will bring together 4 speakers from different career stages and technical backgrounds to discuss their latest work on synaptic dysfunction in ALF/FTD. Dr. Chris Henstridge from the University of Dundee will discuss his recent work using high-resolution synaptic proteomics to reveal protein changes at human ALS synapses. Dr. Matthew Livesey from the University of Sheffield will discuss his work studying the electrophysiological properties of iPSC-derived neurons from ALS/FTD patients. Sara Tacconelli is a 3rd year PhD student with Dr. Caroline Vance from King's College London and will discuss her work on the synaptic interactors of FUS. Finally, Professor Janice Robertson from the University of Toronto will give an overview of her work into the pathomechanisms of ALS using in vitro and in vivo models, with a focus on synaptic dysfunction. This exciting symposium will have broad attraction for anyone interested in synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease.

  • Chris Henstridge, University of Dundee, UK: Synaptic proteomics reveal molecular signatures of cognitive decline and C9ORF72 in human ALS (co-chair)
  • Matthew Livesey, University of Sheffield, UK: Understanding neurophysiological dysfunction in ALS-FTD
  • Sara Tacconelli, King's College London, UK: Identifying synaptic interactors of FUS (co-chair)
  • Chantelle Sephton, Université Laval, Canada: Understanding early pathological changes in neuromorphology and synapses in ALS/FTD

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