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Hyper-emotionality after neurodegenerative loss of inhibition of the amygdala

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 URBACH-ALZ project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the URBACH-ALZ project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "URBACH-ALZ" about.

neurodegeneration    attached    adding    worldwide    handful    south    oxytocin    inhibitory    give    multidisciplinary    firm    town    cerebrospinal    animal    400    chemogenetically    group    hypothesis    causal    anxiety    mri    wie    settlers    lausanne    uwd    ad    cea    host    hypothesize    found    basolateral    university    animals    lab    caused    disorders    stronger    dutch    model    anc    construct    attachment    treat    anatomical    opto    fluid    started    bla    amygdala    uniquely    functional    collaborators    function    ot    correlating    cape    insecurely    signaling    causes    behavioral    neurobiological    translational    mutation    decreased    special    genetic    chemogenetic    projections    damage    gt    decrease    disease    causally    fear    relation    plan    onto    occurring    profiles    personality    reported    clinical    central    human    spread    center    deeper    alzheimer    hyper    individuals    blood    gained    africa    bilateral    rare    patients    basis    levels    tests    urbach   

Project "URBACH-ALZ" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VIA MOREGO 30
city: GENOVA
postcode: 16163

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Total cost 173˙634 €
 EC max contribution 173˙634 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2018-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

'I propose to test how hyper-anxiety in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients is caused by neurodegeneration in the amygdala, our 'center of fear', by comparing with a unique group of Urbach Wiethe disease (UWD) patients with bilateral neurodegeneration of the amygdala (BLA) for which I also construct an animal model. UWD is caused by a very rare genetic mutation occurring in only a handful of individuals worldwide. My host in Lausanne has gained access, however, to a uniquely large group of UWD patients in South-Africa (>40) where the mutation has spread for 400 years in Dutch settlers. Our collaborators at Cape Town University have found, in anatomical & functional MRI and special behavioral tests, how specific loss of inhibitory projections from the basolateral (BLA) onto the central part of the amygdala (CeA) causes hyper-anxiety in UWD. Based upon recently reported BLA neurodegeneration in AD patients, I hypothesize a crucial BLA role in hyper-anxiety of AD patients. I plan to test this in AD patients with clinical collaborators in Lausanne and, to test this hypothesis causally, I have started to opto,- anc chemogenetically decrease BLA function in an animal model. In addition, in Lausanne a stronger hyper-anxiety was observed in AD patients with insecurely attached personality profiles. As my host lab has established an inhibitory role of oxytocin (OT) in the CeA, I hypothesize a decreased OT signaling in CeA of these patients, adding to the anxiety already caused by the BLA loss. I plan to test this both in AD and UWD patients by correlating attachment profiles with OT levels (in blood & cerebrospinal fluid) and anxiety levels & BLA damage (MRI). I will use opto&chemogenetic targeting of OT signaling in animals for a causal relation. This multidisciplinary and translational approach can give a deeper understanding of the role of the amygdala in hyper-anxiety in human patients, and provide a firm neurobiological basis for applying OT to treat anxiety disorders. '


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 David Terburg, Diego Scheggia, Rodrigo Triana del Rio, Floris Klumpers, Alexandru Cristian Ciobanu, Barak Morgan, Estrella R. Montoya, Peter A. Bos, Gion Giobellina, Erwin H. van den Burg, Beatrice de Gelder, Dan J. Stein, Ron Stoop, Jack van Honk
The Basolateral Amygdala Is Essential for Rapid Escape: A Human and Rodent Study
published pages: 723-735.e16, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.09.028
Cell 175/3 2019-08-30

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