Louis Dickson, PhD
Basic Research Award: $150,000
Investigating a novel treatment for Rett syndrome targeting the mGluR7
In brain disorders such as Rett syndrome, the processes that brain cells use to communicate with each other don’t work properly. As such, it might be possible to treat Rett syndrome by intervening in the cell communication process (termed “signaling” by scientists). Previous studies have found that therapeutics that non-specifically target metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7), a regulator of brain cell signaling, can substantially improve the symptoms of Rett syndrome in a mouse model. Because non-specific therapeutics are not ideal for clinical use, a compound that specifically targets mGluR7 has been developed. This research will test this new therapeutic to determine how it affects brain cell communication, how it affects the genes within brain cells, and if it can treat Rett syndrome in a mouse model.