Dr Fatima Nasrallah

Title:  The relationship between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease in a transgenic mouse model

Supervisors: Dr Fatima Nasrallah and Dr Rodrigo Medeiros

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered as one of the strongest epigenetic risk factors for developing dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease (AD). TBI has been shown to fastforward the onset of AD by more than 4 years on average and while it is unclear the mechanism by which TBI leads to early onset of AD symptoms and sever cognitive decline, a history of moderate TBI results in a 2.3 times greater risk of developing AD while a history of severe TBI results in a 4.5 times greater risk. To understand the underlying mechanism and link between TBI and AD, we will investigate molecular and immunohistochemical markers of AD, mainly neurofibrillary tau tangles, amyloid plaques, and neuroinflammatory markers in a ALZ17 transgenic mouse model following a TBI. The study will allow us to determine the role of neuroinflammation in the process following TBI and how much that has an effect on the tau and amyloid buildup in the brain in AD. The candidate for this project will learn various immunohistochemical and molecular wet lab methods and will also have the opportunity to learn data processing of magnetic resonance imaging data that is available for these cohort of mice.

Please email f.nasrallah@uq.edu.au for more information.