Anyone who has ever visited a retirement home has probably observed first hand what according to scientific and patient organizations seems to be one of the health trends of the decade: the increasing occurrence of dementia.
Apart from “regular” age-dependent forgetfulness and substance-abuse induced performance reduction of the human brain, Alzheimer's disease is probably the best known form of dementia.
- Pathological changes including a reduction in cortical thickness and plaque-like deposits
Of the approx. 1.2 million dementia patients in Germany in 2010, around 2/3 suffer from Alzheimer Dementia. The prevalence drastically increases after retirement age, from 1.2% between 65 and 69 year olds, to over 34% of the over-90 year old population.
The impact of dementia on individual fate and health cost for the society are enormous. Research into the disease is concentrating on topics such as the molecular composition of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the function of these molecules in the healthy brain and interventions by drug compounds. For many of these topics, animal models of the disease have been created, which mimic one or more characteristics of the disease. Therefore, these models need to be analyzed thoroughly in order to make sure that effects of a treatment can be captured.
TSE Systems offers various sophisticated instrumentation for the analysis of short term (working) memory such as the Y-maze or T-Maze for spontaneous alternation analysis. Instruments for long term and spatial memory research include the Water Maze or our high-throughput system IntelliCage by NewBehavior, the Fear Conditioning System, and object recognition technologies.
Other systems suitable to study learning and memory deficits as well as cognitive enhancement are classical conditioning systems, conveniently combined in our advanced Multi Conditioning System (containinag as well the most used paradigm in this respect, the Fear Conditioning System). PhenoTracker and VideoMot2 allows the analysis of movements in various arenae including maze systems. Important insights may be gained by employing operant conditioning paradigms, exemplified by the operant wall module in the PhenoMaster system, or the comprehensive PhenoWorld Cognition concept.