Ian Harrison, PhD, University College London, London, UK, discusses the therapeutic potential of modulating the glymphatic system in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This waste clearance system is impaired in PD and AD, implicating its involvement in toxic protein accumulation and thus, disease pathophysiology. Aquaporin-4 water channels (AQP4) are an integral part of the glymphatic system and evidence from animal models and genetic studies suggest their dysfunction may be a key player in disease. Dr Harrison discusses their ongoing efforts to develop agents capable of altering AQP4 function to test its impact on alpha-synuclein accumulation in the brain. Beyond pharmacological approaches, the role of lifestyle modifications on glymphatic function are well evidenced and continue to be investigated in disease settings. This interview took place at The BNA 2023 International Festival of Neuroscience in Brighton, UK.
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