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The Igarashi lab investigates brain circuits for memory in Health and Disease

The scent of your parents’ signature gingerbread can trigger sweet childhood memories and will vividly remind you of past events. Impairments of memory function of the brain, on the other hand, directly lead to the disruption of our daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is currently affecting >50 million patients worldwide. Identifying brain circuit mechanisms underlying memory is not only a major goal for the basic neuroscience field, but also an ultimate goal for clinical neuroscience.

The Kei Igarashi laboratory at UC Irvine investigates:
(i) How our neuronal circuits enable associative memory in healthy brain?
(ii) How these brain circuits become impaired in Alzheimer’s disease? Can we restore impaired circuits?

To solve these problems, we are targeting the entorhinal-hippocampal circuits, a core brain circuit for memory. We use state-of-the-art systems neuroscience techniques including:
– Optogenetic-assisted in vivo multi-unit spike and LFP recordings
– Olfactory-cued memory behavior tasks
– High-resolution circuit mapping

These works are supported by grants from NIH/NIA, NIH/NIMH, Whitehall Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, Brain Research Foundation, Donors Cure Foundation, and BrightFocus Foundation.