The interventional systems neuroscience (ISN) lab is led by Dr Nir Grossman, and is a founding group within the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) at Imperial College London.
The ageing of the world population has had a devastating impact on the prevalence of people with brain disorders. The most common brain disorder with age is dementia – a collection of symptoms caused by neurodegenerative disease. Dementia is characterised by cognitive impairment, that progressively affects activities of daily living, erodes independence, and impairs quality of life. The leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease (AD), accounting for 60–70% of all dementia cases.
During the last few decades, large-scale efforts to delay or stop the progression of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease, via pharmacological interventions have failed to produce viable treatment. The complex and heterogeneous pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases presents a major challenge for discovering and developing disease-modifying therapeutics to address any of them.
However, some pathophysiological processes such as aberrant neuronal circuit activity are common across all of these diseases, starting from the early stages. Aberrant neuronal activity dysregulates the core homeostatic processes critical for cell survival, enhances the propagation of the pathology across the brain, and disrupts the spatiotemporal structure of our cognitive and motoric functionality.
We pioneer non-invasive (non-pharmacological) brain stimulation interventions to ameliorate the aberrant neural activity that underpins the pathophysiology and symptoms in the early stages of neurodegeneration.