Aging, Neuroimmunology, and Behavior
The elderly are more susceptible to peripheral infections and have increased incidence of neurological complications following these infections including depression, cognitive dysfunction, and potentially the onset of neurological disease. Therefore the research focus of our laboratory is to understand how age-associated changes in the central nervous system impair the functional interaction between the brain and the immune system. Specifically we are interested in delineating how elevated and prolonged exposure to inflammatory cytokines in the aged brain impairs neurotransmitter and neurotrophic signaling pathways to promote these neurobehavioral deficits. We are using an intergrative approach with molecular, cellular, and behavioral techniques to address these issues.