The laboratory of MGH Research Scholar Brian Bacskai, PhD, is using sophisticated optical techniques to address fundamental questions in Alzheimer's disease research.

A common neuroprotective strategy to prevent or treat central nervous system diseases

Brian Bacskai, PhD
Brian Bacskai, PhD
Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar 2012-2017
Investigator, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease
Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

The Bacskai lab uses optical techniques to ask fundamental questions in Alzheimer's disease research.

Using the mulitphoton micrsocopy imaging technique, senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease can be detected and characterized in the brains of living transgenic mice.

This approach was used to study a way to clear senile plaques based on immunotherapy, as well as to characterize new factors that target amyloid in preclinical development for PET imaging in humans. 

The lab is also optimizing anti-amyloid therapeutic approaches, and imaging the anatomy and physiology of specific cell types in the brain before and after treatment.

Development of novel optical techniques is ongoing and includes methods to measure protein-protein interactions using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) and non-invasive approaches to amyloid imaging in intact animals.