To obtain results and reach our goals, all the ESR’s projects require the usage of different (and sometimes, very complex!) scientific techniques.

For better understanding of what they require and how is it done, here we explain in basic words what some of them mean.

Tip: Click on the name of the tecnique to see a basic video with the explanation!

 

How we do it:

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Why? To directly assess synaptic activity in patients and obtain information on topography and connectivity of neuronal networks. EEG parameters could potentially serve as early diagnostic markers of AD.
How? Electrodes are attached with adhesive paste to different locations on the scalp and the electric activity is recorded and analyzed by a computer. EEG is a non-invasive, inexpensive and widely available method.

 

2-photon imaging

Why? To monitor brain cells over time within the same living animal. 2-photon imaging enables monitoring of a disease process and new treatment effects.

How? A small window is implanted into the skull of a mouse model of AD and a special microscope is used to visualize the neurons.

 

Electron microscopy (EM)

Why? To assess structure, shape and size of cells and parts of cells (such as synapses) on a very fine (nanometer) scale and thereby obtain information about which structures are affected in for example AD.
How? A beam of accelerated electrons are used to illuminate a specimen and create an image of cells on a nanometer scale.

 

Laser microdissection (LMD)

Why? To cut out specific regions, such as single cells or an area of tissue, and thereby obtain homogenous and pure samples from a heterogeneous starting material. Thereby, cell-specific changes can be determined.
How? A region of interest is drawn by a software and a laser cuts the tissue along the drawing.

 

Confocal imaging

Why? Enables the reconstruction of three-dimensional structures from sets of images obtained at different depths (a process known as optical sectioning) within a thick object.

 

How? Is an optical imaging technique for increasing optical resolution and contrast of a micrograph by means of adding a spatial pinhole placed at the confocal plane of the lens to eliminate out-of-focus light