Edinburgh Imaging

07 Aug 18. Prof Megan Holmes

Professor Megan Holmes, describes her research into the effects that early life stress may have on the adult brain.


Transcript – Prof Megan Holmes, 2018

"My name is Megan Holmes. I am Professor of Neuroendocrinology in the Centre for Cardiovascular Science. I also am director of Edinburgh Imaging Preclinical.

My main research interests are in the effects of early life stress, on adult brain function, such as increase in susceptibility to effective disorders and cognitive impairment, and to try and understand the mechanisms which under pin this, we use two different imaging techniques to try to work out the mechanisms.

The first is high definition Ultrasound, where we can look at the development of the foetus within the womb in our small animal modules. We can show that the stress hormones have major effects on the development of the foetus. And then if we look later in the life we’re able to determine that there are alterations within the brain and behaviour, and that using a functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, we are able to show you using a very novel in vivo model, that awake animals are able to carry out a task, and in response to this task, the functional connectivity within the brain is altered, if the animals have been exposed to early life stress."