I study the role of stress as a risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, bipolar and major depression disorders and others) and the neurocircuits implicated. One particularily important brain region for this is the basolateral amygdala, known as the stress center in the brain. This group of nuclei send dense projections to other structures regulating memory, cognitive flexibility, secretion of stress hormones etc. I recently showed that the activity of this brain structure underlined the effect of stress on memory (Rei et al., 2015).
I am currently working on two projects:
- try and understand the role of the amygdala in the pathophysiology of aging,
- how to hijack the neurocircuits of smell to design innovative treatments against depression.