Cerebral metabolism and functional small-animal-imaging
Our behaviour is the visible expression of the (normally) invisible activity of complex ensembles of billions of nerve cells. If we want to understand these patterns of neural activity – including learning–induced changes or disease-induced alterations -, we have to find ways to visualize the patterns. In animal experiments the range of methods that can be applied is substantially larger than in humans.
In our group we are mainly interested in mapping, in behaving animals, global brain-wide spatial patterns of neural activity at the regional as well as at the cellular level. To this end we make use of the coupling of neural activity to blood flow and metabolism, especially to potassium-turnover. We study cerebral metabolism by injecting radioactively labelled compounds the distribution of which we image using emission-computed tomography (SPECT and PET). We also use non-radioactive compounds that can be detected at the light- and electron microscopical level. These methods that in part have been developed by our group have also proven very useful for studying alterations in cerebral metabolism and network activity in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Jürgen Goldschmidt studied medicine at the universities Bochum and Essen and worked as assistant doctor in the department of neurology at the St.-Josephs-Hospital Oberhausen before he joined, as a scientist in research and teaching, the group of Rüdiger Veh at the department of neuroanatomy at the Ruhr-University Bochum (then headed by Karl-Herrmann Andres).
After finishing his MD thesis he became member of the group of Henning Scheich at the LIN. In 2008 he started to establish, with funding from the BMBF, the small-animal SPECT lab at the LIN, and is head of this lab since.
Head Dr. Jürgen Goldschmidt +49-391-6263-95421 email@example.com Technical staff member Holger Reim +49-391-6263-93411 firstname.lastname@example.org Guests Dr. Anja Oelschlegel +49-391-6263-93471 email@example.com Rituparna Bhattacharjee (ABINEP)
We have developed protocols for using SPECT-imaging of cerebral blood flow as a screening tool for mapping spatial patterns of neural activity in behaving animals. We are using this technique in a large number of collaborations within the LIN as well as with national and international partners.
We investigate novel ways of mapping neuronal activity at the cellular level. To this end we are developing methods that can be used to image the (activity-dependent) neuronal potassium uptake by using the K+-probe thallium as a tracer.
- Current Third Party Funds
We teach different courses at various faculties:
- OvGU, Psychology
- OvGU, Medicine
- University Göttingen, Molecular Medicine