Don M Gash
Central Nervous System, Aging, Plasticity and Regeneration My research focuses on characterizing the mechanisms underlying regeneration and the recovery of function in the central nervous system (CNS). I am especially interested in Brain slicesthe CNS pathways regulating motor functions. Many of my studies have been directed towards the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system which undergoes degenerative changes in both Parkinson’s disease and aging. These studies are dedicated to not only better understanding the cellular and molecular changes underlying CNS injury and aging, but also investigating new therapeutic approaches to treating these disorders. Over the past several years, my research group has increasingly focused on trophic factors mediating functional regeneration in the host brain. We are especially interested in trophic factors regulating growth, maintenance, neuritogenesis and regeneration of CNS dopamine neurons. Most of my studies utilize non-human primate models of normal aging and Parkinson's disease. My group is increasingly utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including functional MRI, to study aging and degenerative processes in the rhesus monkey and human brain.