Project DetailsDysfunction at synapses in the brain may underlie many of the deficits present in Alzheimer's Disease. Factors that influence the health of synapses are thus vital areas of research focus. The proposed research will be focused on a protein which has shown promise as a protective factor in other models of neurodegeneration, but which has not been examined in Alzheimer's Disease models. Our objective is to elucidate whether this protein (known as WLDs) is functionally useful as a protective factor in an Alzheimer's Disease model. Given the protective effect that the WLDs protein has had in other models, our working hypothesis is that the protein will attenuate synaptic dysfunction Alzheimer's Disease models. We will first determine the effects of the WLDs protein on synaptic transmission and learning deficits known to exist in Alzheimer's Disease models. In the second part of our proposal, we will examine the effect of the WLDs protein on known structural and synaptic protein expression changes in Alzheimer's Disease models. In the long-term, we hope that the potential protective effects of the WLDs protein will serve to clarify the mechanism of synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease as well as lead to therapeutic options for treating synaptic dysfunction.