The effects of that neural chemicals known as neurotransmitters or neuropeptides can have on basic mechanisms that occur in our central nervous system is well documented and is known to be very significant. The consumption of known natural or artificial psychostimulants, such as caffeine, by animals or humans can have a significant impact on the short and long-term performance of cognitive and/or motor skills. These results support the stimulant effects of caffeine onto adenosine receptors located within the spinal network controlling walking, acting mostly through the inhibition of A1 adenosine receptors.
We want to understand the cellular mechanisms by which adenosine receptor antagonists and agonist modulates the firing properties of the spinal CPG network for locomotion since adenosine receptors have been related to the reduction of inflammation and neuroprotection after a spinal cord injury. We are additionally studying the role of adenosine and dopamine in the pathological physiology of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) which is a very prevalent neurologic disorder. Our Lab addresses these questions through a combination of electrophysiological and calcium imaging experiments integrating mouse genetics, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University
- PhD, University of Puerto Rico, Medical School
- BS, University of Puerto Rico, Rio-Piedras campus