Glutamate's role in Alzheimer's disease

I collaborated with Dr. Greg Gerhardt, inventor of the MEA, to show for the first time that glutamate neurotransmission was altered in an AD mouse model and that these neurochemical changes correlated with behavior. Subsequently, we administered an FDA approved drug for treatment of ALS, Riluzole, which acts on the glutamate system. Riluzole improved glutamate regulation, cognitive performance, and AD pathology. This study was an important first step in the development of an off-label, proof-of-concept, investigation of Riluzole in AD patients. My work studying glutamate’s role in AD earned me an editorial highlight in the Journal of Neurochemistry and inspired me to take an interest in finding other therapeutic targets for AD. 


P301L tau expression affects glutamate release and clearance in the hippocampal trisynaptic pathway

Hunsberger HC, Rudy CC, Batten SR, Gerhardt GA, Reed MN

Journal of Neurochemistry , vol. 25(4), 2014, pp. 331-335

Riluzole rescues glutamate alterations, cognitive deficits, and tau pathology associated with P301L tau expression

Hunsberger HC, Weitzner DS, Rudy CC, Hickman JE, Libell EM, Speer RR, Gerhardt GA, Reed MN

Journal of Neurochemistry , vol. 135(2), 2015, pp. 381-394

Riluzole rescues alterations in rapid glutamate transients in the hippocampus of rTg4510 mice

Hunsberger HC, Hickman JE, Reed MN

Metabolic Brain Disease, vol. 31(3), 2016, pp. 711-715

Using Enzyme-based Biosensors to Measure Tonic and Phasic Glutamate in Alzheimer's Mouse Models

Hunsberger HC, Setti SE, Heslin RT, Quintero JE, Gerhardt GA, Reed MN

Journal of Visualized Experiments , vol. 123, 2017