Lecture by Associate Professor Michael Jakowec from Keck Medicine of USC
Title: Enhancing neuroplasticity in a circuit specific manner to restore motor behavior in Parkinson’s disease
Abstract: Studies in our lab have shown that exercise in the form of treadmill running can restore motor and cognitive dysfunction in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Recent work has begun to suggest that different forms of exercise, including skill-based exercise, can target specific cognitive and motor circuits to promote recovery by enhancing synaptogenesis and blood flow. This discussion will highlight our molecular and behavioral studies in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders including the potential roles played by metabolic energetics, hypoxia, and the contribution of non-neuronal cells including astrocytes. Furthermore, basic research studies are allowing us to design and interpret clinical applications of exercise and the potential role of exercise in possibly modifying disease progression.