Behavioral Research Blog

Implementing Tailored Activity Programs

Posted by Julie Harrison on Aug 2, 2016

Sometimes pharmacological strategies can hurt more than they help. This is why non-pharmacological strategies are meant to be used as the first-line in the treatment of patients, but it can be difficult to tell which strategies should be used with dementia patients in hospitals.

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Topics: Alzheimer's disease, The Observer XT, video observation, doctor patient interaction, video recording, dementia, coding behavior

Neuroscience 2015 – Saying goodbye

Posted by G. Smit on Oct 22, 2015

Wednesday, October 21st – I have been talking to so many interesting people around here. Not just researchers, but other vendors as well, such as our partner company Inscopix. It was great meeting some of the people from the company that made an important contribution to the research presented at our satellite symposium on Monday. I think there is a bright future ahead in combining live brain imaging with video tracking technology and I hope to be reporting about it more in the near future.

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Topics: mice, Alzheimer's disease, zebrafish, Danio rerio, home cage, PhenoTyper, 2015, conferences, SfN

How to study ataxia

Posted by G. Smit on Jul 3, 2015

Gait and motor performance are studied extensively in neuroscience research, which is not surprising when you come to think of it, because it is affected in many neurological diseases. Ataxia is a common problem in Parkinson’s disease (PD), and many early onset Alzheimer’s disease patients (AD) also deal with it. Motor skills are also affected in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease, gait analysis, ErasmusLadder, motor learning, reflexive motor learning, motor performance, cerebellum, motor control

Alzheimer's: prevent instead of cure? Groundbreaking research and animal models

Posted by G. Smit on Apr 23, 2015

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a huge public health issue as it affects a large part of the aging population. By 2050, experts estimate this number will exceed 100 million worldwide. Those of you that are a familiar with the underlying pathological hallmarks of  AD will recognize the terms plaques and tangles. These protein built-ups in the brain are well-researched; however, this neuropathology is studied primarily in the end stages of the disease.

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Topics: mice, Alzheimer's disease, locomotion, ErasmusLadder, motor learning, motor performance

10 Innovative behavioral studies on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Posted by G. Smit on Mar 17, 2015

Tomorrow the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (ADPD) in Nice, France starts. Last week I blogged about a study on Ginkgo biloba and Alzheimer's, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to highlight some more studies and get you in the mood for the conference. This blog post features 10 interesting studies that use innovative techniques to study models of AD and PD and important underlying neuronal mechanisms.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Alzheimer's disease, Video tracking, zebrafish, Danio rerio, DanioVision, Parkinson's Disease, learning and memory, rats, CatWalk XT, gait analysis, locomotion, top 10, ErasmusLadder, reflexive motor learning, motor performance

How Ginkgo biloba helps treat Alzheimer’s

Posted by G. Smit on Mar 12, 2015

Ginkgo biloba. Some of you might recognize it as a dietary supplement that is supposed to enhance cognitive function, but studies investigating these claims have mixed results. Xu Liu and colleagues recently investigated the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on a mouse model for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Interestingly, they were able to confirm positive effects on AD pathology, such as improved memory, but only after long-term treatment.  

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Alzheimer's disease, Video tracking, learning and memory, Barnes maze

Get the latest information and insight on Alzheimer's research

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Dec 2, 2014

The Behavioral Research Blog regularly highlights recent advances in Alzheimer’s research. Check out four recent blog posts and get the latest information and insight.

Can caffeine prevent Alzheimer’s?

What is the most popular drug in the world? It’s not alcohol, cannabis, or cocaine, but something most of us start with each day. Coffee;  or, more specifically: caffeine. Like millions of other people, it helps me get started and prevents my morning headaches. Caffeine also has been shown to prevent age-related cognitive decline by reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia. It is not surprising, then, that much research has already been done on the effect of caffeine in the development of AD. Read more!

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Topics: Alzheimer's disease

Can caffeine prevent Alzheimer's?

Posted by G. Smit on May 22, 2014

A Morris water maze memory study in mice models of Alzheimer's disease

By G. Smit, MSc and A. Macbeth, PhD

What is the most popular drug in the world? It’s not alcohol, cannabis, or cocaine, but something most of us start with each day. Coffee;  or, more specifically: caffeine. Like millions of other people, it helps me get started and prevents my morning headaches. Caffeine also has been shown to prevent age-related cognitive decline by reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia. It is not surprising, then, that much research has already been done on the effect of caffeine in the development of AD.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Morris water maze, mice, Alzheimer's disease, Video tracking, learning and memory

How memory loss caused by diabetes was prevented in transgenic mice

Posted by G. Smit on Feb 13, 2014

Did you know that Alzheimer’s and diabetes are linked? Patients with diabetes have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and patients with AD show impaired insulin function and glucose metabolism. The tau protein might be one of the connecting factors. This protein, found in neurons, can get hyperphosphorylated, causing it to tangle and ‘clog up’ the neuron - one of the pathological hallmarks of AD.

Investigating tau as the possible link between AD and diabetes
Serena Abbondante and her colleagues (The American Journal of Pathology, 2014) investigated the protein tau as a possible link between the two diseases, because according to them, recent evidence from animal models of diabetes shows that impaired insulin signaling causes tau hyperphosphorylation.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Morris water maze, mice, Alzheimer's disease, Video tracking, Diabetes

Making music and baking pancakes – invest in the mental health of our elderly!

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Oct 10, 2013

Alzheimer is global
Estimates vary, but experts suggest that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease [1].  In the World Alzheimer Report 2013 [released on September 20th 2013; 2], Marc Wortmann and Stuart Fletcher indicate dementia, including Alzheimer, as one of the biggest public health challenges facing our generation: “Today, over 35 million people worldwide currently live with the condition and this number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050 to 115 million.”


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Topics: Alzheimer's disease, The Observer XT, emotion recognition, on-site research

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