Inaugural Lecture - Prof Tara Spires Jones
From Peter Crooks
Alzheimer's through the looking glass: How imaging brain changes may lead to effective treatments
Inaugural lecture of Tara Spires-Jones, Professor of Neurodegeneration
Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia in older people, is a devastating condition that is becoming a public health crisis as our population ages. Currently, there are no effective treatments.
The research in our neuroscience team aims to understand the brain changes that cause Alzheimer’s disease and related brain diseases. We use cutting-edge imaging methods to study damage to synapses, the connections between brain cells that are essential for memory and thought. Synapse loss tracks very closely with disease symptoms.
In our research, we have found evidence that damage to synapses is an important early event in the disease process and that damaging proteins spread through the brain through synaptic connections. Current projects are examining how age, genes, and the brain’s immune system influence synapse degeneration. Eventually, we hope our research will help find new ways to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s and related diseases.
In her Inaugural lecture, Tara will talk about the career path to becoming a neuroscientist, describe some of her research, and speculate about ways to improve neuroscience research in the future.