HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

10th Edition of International Conference on Neurology and Brain Disorders

October 21-23, 2024

October 21 -23, 2024 | Baltimore, Maryland, USA
INBC 2019

Joe Herbert

Speaker at Neurology Conferences - Joe Herbert
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Title : Depression as a risk for Alzheimer’s disease: what is the evidence


It is proposed that there are three major cellular pathways than contribute to brain aging.  Activities of each overlap and are cross-linked. Age-related systemic changes moderate these mechanisms to variable extents. (1) Reduced growth factor activity, particularly BDNF and TrkB, are associated with neuronal and synaptic dysfunction and loss of plasticity. Age-related increases in cortisol, and decreases in DHEA, encourage changes in BDNF. (2) Microglia become activated with age, and release cytokines such as IL6 and TNFa, which damage neurons and predispose them to damage by other agents.  Peripheral low-level inflammation, a feature of increasing age, promotes inflammatory responses in microglia.  Corticoids are also pro-inflammatory in the brain. (3) Astrocytic function (eg aquaporin-4) is also impaired with age, and this has adverse effects both on the blood-brain barrier and on synaptic function, plasticity and integrity. The relative contribution of each factor to overall ageing will vary individually, and be reflected in the degree and nature of cognitive decline and emotional dysfunction.


Joe Herbert interested in the role of the brain in adaptive responses, with particular reference to the reciprocal interaction between hormones and the brain. His experimental work is focussed on the way that neural factors, such as serotonin and glucocorticoids, regulate the formation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, and the role these play in responses to stress. I have a large parallel clinical programme, focussed on determining the risk factors (genetic, environmental, psychosocial and endocrine) that predispose to depression in collaboration with Prof Goodyer (Psychiatry). I also work on the role of hormones in financial decision-making and risk perception.