James Reynolds Bio
His research interests are:
1. Fetal Brain Injury after Chronic in Utero Ethanol Exposure
Our research group has been conducting studies on the effects of chronic prenatal ethanol exposure on (1) the expression and pharmacological sensitivity of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and GABA-A receptors in different regions of the guinea pig brain, and (2) behavioural and cognitive dysfunction in offspring. Chronic in utero ethanol exposure causes persistent hyperactivity and brain growth restriction in offspring, accompanied by changes in the expression levels and pharmacology of both NMDA and GABA-A receptors. The objectives of our current studies are to determine the effects of chronic prenatal exposure to ethanol on the expression of individual subunit subtypes that make up GABA-A and NMDA receptors, and to correlate these changes with alterations in brain function and behaviour. These studies will greatly advance our understanding of the molecular events underlying changes in receptor function observed in ethanol-treated animals, and test novel therapeutic approaches aimed at improving functional outcomes after chronic prenatal ethanol exposure.
2. Cognitive and Behavioural Deficits in Children with FASD
Eye movement control is a powerful tool for assessing various aspects of brain function, including sensory-motor control and cognitive flexibility. Our studies have demonstrated that behavioural deficits in eye movement control can be measured in children with FASD. Future studies are aimed at developing eye movement tasks and other novel tools that can be used to assess brain dysfunction in children with FASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.