Strand 1: Modeling Multi-scale Brain Communications for Diagnosing and Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases


Researchers: Dr. Michael Barros, Dr. Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Denise Manton

Neuronal communications in the brain are separated over many scales and layers. This creates a heterogeneous environment whereby chemical, electrical and molecular signals are propagated in different ways, while synchronously ensuring that the transmission, storage and processing of information possible. The action potentials and synapses in different layers of the brain contributes to the Cognitive, psyche and motor functions. Any failure in this communication process is linked to brain diseases and neurodegeneration. These types of pathologies and diseases have increasingly affected people’s lives in many different forms due to the increase in life expectancy in the ageing society. For example, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 15 million people in the US with a death rate of 29.5% among people at the age of 65+ years, and cost around $200 billion per annum.

TBI are aiming to investigate the multi-scale communication properties of the brain, by using communication theory and networking to analyze the signaling between neurons and its communication properties at the cortical circuit level. The aim is to develop a multi-scale model that could be developed into a tool to diagnosis and support novel treatments of neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Multi scale modeling of brain communication

 

Research Objectives:

  • Create a framework for multi-scale brain communication models based on curated bio-physical models as well as experimental data.
  • Utilize information and communication theory, control theory and systems biology for analyzing molecular communications between pre and post-synaptic neurons, and analyzing its role in large-scale brain communication networks.
  • Investigate neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) that are initiated from communication failures in microglial cell.

Selected Publications:

  • Michael T. Barros. Capacity of the Hierarchical Cortical Microcircuit Communication Channel, submitted for journal publication, 2017.
  • Michael T. Barros, Subhrakanti. Dey. Set Point Regulation of Astrocyte Intracellular Ca2+ Signaling, in Proc. of 17th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2017), Pittsburg, USA. 2017.
  • Michael T. Barros, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Brendan Jennings. Comparative End-to-end Analysis of Ca2+ Signaling-based Molecular Communication in Biological Tissues, IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 63, no. 12, 2015.

 

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/alzheimers-research-tssg