Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph
Nicotinic receptor signaling in a mouse model of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Chronic prenatal exposure to alcohol can produce a spectrum of adverse effects known collectively as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Although deficits in attention rank among the most common and persistent components of FASD, mechanisms underlying this behavioural outcome are not known. This project aims to determine mechanisms by which exposure to alcohol during development alters the brain’s attention systems.
We will focus on the nicotinic acetylcholine neurotransmitter system within the prefrontal cortex, because it is important for normal attention behavior and can be modulated by short- and long-term exposure to alcohol. The long-term goal of this research is to identify appropriate therapeutic interventions to mitigate attention deficits in FASD.