Thakur Neurodegeneration Lab
With increase in average life span of humans, age associated neurodegenerative diseases are on rapid rise. Parkinson’s disease (PD), a progressive debilitating movement disorder, is one of the most common age associated neurodegenerative disease. PD is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons (DA-neurons) in the substantia nigra (SN) region of the brain resulting in dopamine deficiency. Due to this, patients suffer from several motor symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, inability to initiate movements, impaired posture and balance, all of which result in decreased quality of life. Despite of being known to modern medicine for last 200 years, till date there is no cure for PD. This problem is compounded by lack of complete understanding of disease pathogenesis and inability of presently available animal models to accurately mimic key disease features.
Major goals of the lab are
a) Developing better mouse models and utilizing them to decipher the disease mechanisms
b) Utilizing this understanding to develop biomarkers as well as therapeutics for this incurable disease
While no approaches are out of bound to achieve these goals, core experimental tools used in the lab are molecular biology, stereotaxic surgery, behavioral analysis, histology, electrophysiology.