We sleep a large portion of our lives. We need to, we know this, and science proves it. Sleep helps us to process what we have learned, to let our nervous system function properly, and to concentrate during the day. We have all been there: a bit of stress or anxiety for a big day coming up leads to not sleeping well, and we suffer the consequences. Loss of concentration, maybe a bit cranky… my mother always told me sleep makes everything better. And now researchers have proven that it can heal the brain. The question is, how?
Characterizing postoperative cognitive dysfunction with a novel rat-model.This week we have a guest post by Iris Hovens. She has done some really interesting research into the consequences of surgery in terms of reduced memory and concentration problems. This is especially a concern for elderly people. We are very happy that Iris has so kindly agreed to write about her research on our blog. At the end of this post, you will also find a link to a free white paper about this research! Thank you, Iris!
In the Netherlands, yearly more than 400.000 patients aged over 60 undergo surgery. Although the surgeries are aimed at improving health and well-being, ten percent of these older surgery patients will develop dementia-like symptoms, such as reduced memory and concentration and problems with planning and information processing. This postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) seriously affects the life of patients and their near friends and relatives, as it is associated with a reduced quality of life, increased dependency on social care and an increased risk of lasting mental and functional disability.
Novel object recognition is one of the most commonly used behavioral tests on laboratory rodents. It is also easily automated with video tracking software. Want to know how? I’ve lined up five of the most popular blog posts about this test from our Behavioral Research Blog.
Here you go!
Modeling Alzheimer’s disease
A large number of genetically engineered mouse models are available to study different aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. APP/PS1 knock-in mice are mice in which two genes associated with the disease are inserted at a specific place in the genome. Much is known about the development of the disease in these mice. But until recently, there was less detailed knowledge on behavioral changes in APP/PS1 knock-in mice that are associated with the disease.
Topics: EthoVision XT, Morris water maze, mice, Alzheimer's disease, Video tracking, animal behavior research, exploratory behavior, open field test, anxiety research, elevated plus maze, locomotion, novel object test
By Dr. Christine Buske
On a yearly basis, an estimated 20.000 individuals are diagnosed with primary brain tumors in the United States alone (Langley & Fidler, 2013). About ten times that number of patients will receive treatment for primary or metastatic brain cancer. Often times, these brain tumors are located in regions that are difficult to reach surgically. This leaves whole brain radiation therapy as the only viable treatment.
In the beginning of this year I wrote a post about the Morris water maze test, a popular and well-validated paradigm to study learning and memory in rats and mice. This blog is about another very popular test, the (novel) object recognition task.