Understanding how stress affects cognitive function to identify new therapeutic targets
Project awarded in collaboration with the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnología
Centro de Neurociências e Biologia Celular, Portugal
Chronic stress results in a risk to mental health due to its effects on the brain, especially in some regions such as the prefrontal cortex, involved in planning complex behaviours and making decisions.
MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of specific genes. High levels of some of them, such as miR-186-5p, may be implicated in mental disorders that emerge in response to chronic stress.
The project studies how altered miR-186-5p levels in the prefrontal cortex contribute to changes in neuronal communication and cognitive performance as a maladaptive response to chronic stress, to identify new therapeutic targets, as well as understand the sex differences in the adverse brain effects of chronic stress.
Regulation of prefrontal cortical synaptic function and behavior by chronic stress-induced microRNA-186-5p