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PhD Transfer Seminar – Brittany Dugan (Peever Lab)

May 25, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am

Investigating Differences in the Pathophysiology and Symptoms of RBD between Models of PD and MSA



REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) is a parasomnia in which patients exhibit abnormal muscle movement during REM sleep. Following RBD onset, most patients develop a synucleinopathic disorder such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) or multiple system atrophy (MSA). RBD is comorbid with PD in 25-58% of patients and in almost all patients with MSA. Despite this, only two studies have evaluated RBD in a model of synucleinopathy—both in the context of PD. Furthermore, there are no studies either investigating RBD in a model of MSA or on pathological differences between MSA and PD during the prodromal stage.

My PhD thus proposes to identify pathological and behavioural differences in both RBD-MSA and RBD-PD mouse models. Importantly, these mouse models recapitulate the pathophysiology of both MSA and PD. Since MSA patients predominantly exhibit oligodendroglial pathology, I will also evaluate whether a mouse model with pathology localized to oligodendrocytes can cause neuronal loss and RBD-like symptoms. Lastly, I will investigate why the REM sleep atonia circuit is vulnerable to pathology in both PD and MSA, focusing on calcium and its role in heightened vulnerability. This research is important in establishing early disease dynamics to either halt or prevent further progression.


Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 at 11:00am

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 816 9647 0308

Host: John Peever (john.peever@utoronto.ca)



May 25, 2021
11:00 am - 11:30 am
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