Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Jan-Willen Thielen (Donders series 372)

28 February 2019
Promotor: prof. dr. I. Tendolkar (Universität Duisburg-Essen. Duitsland), prof. dr. D.G. Norris

Functional and neurochemical contribution of the medial prefrontal-thalamus-hippocampus network in episodic memory
The present thesis addressed the contribution of the mPFC-thalamus-hippocampus network in episodic memory and functional as well neurochemical alterations due to disease and aging. We show that the thalamus mediates between the hippocampus and mPFC when human memorize and remember episodic memory content and that these processes are related to changes in neurotransmitter concentration. Regarding aging, we showed that aerobic activity in the healthy elderly is associated with lower systemic inflammation which was associated with increased “communication” within the mPFC-thalamus-hippocampus network during learning of episodic memory content. Moreover, elderly that suffer from type 2 diabetes have increased inhibitory neurotransmitter concentration within the mPFC-thalamus-hippocampus network that was associated with decreased episodic memory performance. Together, we revealed new evidence regarding the function of the mPFC-thalamus-hippocampus network in episodic memory and determine functional as well neurochemical modifications due to aging and disease.