Department of Neuroscience
Lotta Granholm, Ph.D./DDS
Professor and Director of Center on Aging
The focus in my laboratory is on neuroplasticity, both during early development and aging. In particular, we are studying factors that influence development and aging in neurons, such as neurotrophic factors.
We have primarily focused on trophic factor influence on cholinergic, adrenergic, and dopaminergic pathways in the brain and the neurotrophic factors NGF and GDNF. We are using transplantation of fetal brain tissue and stem cells intracranially and into the anterior chamber of the eye as a means to study connectivity, and also as replacement therapy. More recently, we have also started working on estrogen/testosterone replacement therapy, as well as dietary supplementation with antioxidants and low-cholesterol diets.
The overall goal of the laboratory is to develop treatment strategies for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease by using growth factors, hormone replacement, or dietary prevention therapies. We are using a systems approach, studying memory and movement behaviors, and correlating these behavioral data with biochemical and structural correlates in the brain. Recently, we have incorporated a translational research approach, with ongoing studies together with clinical laboratories around our campus and at other aging centers.