1. Maternal choline supplementation (research using animal models): We have found that supplementing the maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation significantly improves attention, spatial cognition, and emotion regulation in a mouse model of Down syndrome. A more circumscribed improvement in attention was also seen in the Wildtype littermates. I am currently involved in a collaborative study with investigators at Rush University Medical Center and NYU to elucidate the underlying neural mechanisms. We have found that maternal choline supplementation (MCS) improves spatial cognition in the Ts65Dn mice which is mediated, at least in part, by protection of medial septal cholinergic neurons, which atrophy in these mice with the onset of Alzheimer-like neuropathology. We have also found that MCS increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the Ts65Dn mice, and that this correlates with the improved spatial cognition of these mice. Furthermore we have found evidence for improved neurotrophin function in these trisomic mice, which may contribute to the protection of BFCN neurons in these mice, and subsequently their improved cognitive functioning. The results of these studies will have implications for minimizing cognitive and affective function in individuals who have Down syndrome as well as provide new information concerning the mechanism by which perinatal choline supplementation exerts lifelong benefits on cognitive functioning in normal rodents. These findings will have important clinical implications for identifying the choline intake during pregnancy and lactation that is optimal for cognitive functioning throughout the lifespan. These collaborative studies linking behavioral and neural changes are in progress.
2. Maternal choline supplementation (research with human subjects): We are currently assessing cognitive and affective functioning in 7 year children whose mothers participated in a randomized controlled trial of maternal choline supplementation during either the last trimester of pregnancy or the first 3 months postnatally. Maternal choline intake was completely controlled at either 480 mg/day or 930 mg/day during these periods of time. Children born to mothers consuming the higher choline intake during the last trimester of pregnancy performed significantly better (v. 480 mg/d) on tests of attention, memory, and problem solving. This is the first evidence demonstrating that higher maternal choline intake during pregnancy improves offspring cognition during the school-age years, a time when neurobehavioral tests predict later academic outcomes and adult functioning. This study is a collaboration with DNS colleagues (Drs. Canfield and Caudill). .
3. We (also a collaboration with Drs. Canfield and Caudill) are also investigating the potential benefits of maternal choline supplementation (v placebo) on infant cognitive and affective functioning. In this study, pregnant women are randomly assigned to either a choline supplement (500 mg/d) or a placebo throughout pregnancy, followed by cognitive and affective assessments ot their infants throughout the first year of life. Notaby, contrary to our prior study with 7 year old children, this study includes a placebo group and investigates the potential benefits of maternal choline supplementation throughout pregnancy. This study is ongoing.
4. Dr Paul Soloway and I are planning to investigate whether the lasting cognitive benefits of maternal choline supplementation in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome and normal littermates are mediated by epigenetics effects due to choline's role as a methyl donor. These studies will also help ascertain possible adverse effects of MCS on other systems (e.g., cancer).
5. I am collaborating on a project with collaborators at UC Santa Cruz and the University of Illinois to investigate the lasting cognitive and neural effects of early developmental exposure to Manganese. We have found evidence for attentional and fine motor dysfunction in the rats exposed early in life, and have found evidence for catecholaminergic alterations in these same animals. Importantly treatment with methylphenidate (Ritalin) completely normalized the fine motor dysfunction in the manganese exposed animals. We just recently were awarded a new NIH grant to test additional therapies and further explore the mechanisms underlying these areas of dysfunction.
NS7030: Graduate Seminar in Nutrition
Tox6110: Molecular Toxicolog
NS4010: Empirical Research in Nutrition
NS4990: Honors Research in Nutrition
Psych4700: Undergraduate Research in Psychology
Bio2990: Undergraduate Research in Biology
Bio4990: Undergraduate Research in Biology
Strupp BJ & Beaudin S. Assessing the neurobehavioral effects of early toxicant exposure: A perspective from animal research. In: Bellinger D (ed.), Human Developmental Neurotoxicology, New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, 2006: 415-445.
Grantham-McGregor S, Cheung YB, Cueto S, Glewwe P, Richter L, Strupp B; International Child Development Steering Group. Developmental potential in the first 5 years for children in developing countries. Lancet. 2007 Jan; 369(9555):60-70.
Stangle DE, Smith D, Beaudin SA, Strawderman MS, Levitsky DA, and Strupp BJ. Succimer chelation improves cognition and arousal regulation in lead-exposed rats but produces lasting cognitive impairment in the absence of lead exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Feb;115(2):201-9. Epub 2006 Oct 30.
McNaughton, C. H., Moon, J., Strawderman, M. S., Maclean K. N., Evans, J., Strupp, B. J. (2008). Evidence for social anxiety and impaired social cognition in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. Behav. Neurosci, 2008 Apr;122(2):293-300.
Moon J., Chen M, Gandhy SU, Strawderman M, Levitsky DA, Maclean KN, and Strupp BJ. Perinatal choline supplementation improves cognitive functioning and emotion regulation in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2010, 124 (3):346–361.
Velazquez, R., Kelley, C.M., Powers, B.E., Ash, J.A., Ginsberg, S.D., Mufson, E.J., and Strupp, B.J: B.J: Maternal choline supplementation improves spatial learning and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome, Neurobiol. Dis. 58 (2013) 92–101.
Ash A, Velazquez R, Kelley CM, Powers BE, Strawderman M, Ginsberg SD, Mufson EJ, Strupp BJ. Maternal choline supplementation improves spatial mapping and increases number and size of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in aged Ts65Dn mice; Neurobiology of Disease, 2014 Oct;70:32-42. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.06.001. Epub 2014 Jun 14.
Driscoll LL & Strupp BJ. Assessment of attention and inhibitory control in rodent developmental neurotoxicity studies. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2014 Sep 16. pii: S0892-0362(14)00162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2014.09.001. [Epub ahead of print].
Beaudin SA, Strupp BJ, Lasley SM, Fornal CA, Mandal S, Smith DR. Oral methylphenidate alleviates the fine motor dysfunction caused by chronic postnatal manganese exposure. Toxicological Sciences, 2015 Apr;144(2):318-27. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfv007. Epub 2015 Jan 19. PMID: 25601986
Strupp, B.J., Powers, B.E., Velazquez, R., Ash, J.A., Kelley, C.M., Alldred, M.J., Strawderman, M.S., Caudill, M.A., Mufson, E.J., and Ginsberg, S.D.: Maternal choline supplementation: A potential prenatal treatment for Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res. 13: 97-106, 2016. PMID: 26391045. NIHMSID #753474
Powers, B.E., Velazquez, R., Kelley, C.M., Ash, J.A., Strawderman, M.S., Alldred, M.J., Ginsberg, S.D., Mufson, E.J., and Strupp, B.J.: Attentional function and basal forebrain cholinergic neuron morphology during aging in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. December 2016, Volume 221, Issue 9, pp 4337–4352. PMID: 26719290. NIHMSID #753351.
Kelley, C.M., Ash, J.A., Powers, B.E., Velazquez, R., Alldred, M.J., Ikonomovic, M.D., Ginsberg, S.D., Strupp, B.J., and Mufson, E.J.: Effects of maternal choline supplementation on the septohippocampal cholinergic system in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. Curr Alzheimer Res., 13: 84-96, 2016. PMID: 26391046. PMCID: PMC4733527.
Strupp, B.J., Powers, B.E., Velazquez, R., Ash, J.A., Kelley, C.M., Alldred, M.J., Strawderman, M.S., Caudill, M.A., Mufson, E.J., and Ginsberg, S.D.: Maternal choline supplementation: A potential prenatal treatment for Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res. 13: 97-106, 2016. PMID: 26391045. PMCID: PMC4733524.
Beaudin SA, Strupp BJ, Strawderman M, Smith DR, Early Postnatal Manganese Exposure Causes Lasting Impairment of Selective and Focused Attention and Arousal Regulation in Adult Rats. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2016 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]; PMID: 27384154
Beaudin SA, Strupp BJ, Strawderman M, Smith DR, Early Postnatal Manganese Exposure Causes Lasting Impairment of Selective and Focused Attention and Arousal Regulation in Adult Rats. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2017 Feb;125(2):230-237. PMID: 27384154
Powers BE, Kelley CM, Velazquez R, Ash A, Strawderman M, Ginsberg SD, Mufson EJ, Strupp BJ. Maternal choline supplementation in a mouse model of Down syndrome: Assessment of attentional benefits in relation to nucleus basalis/substantia innominata neuron morphology. Neuroscience, 2017 Jan 6;340:501-514. PMID:27840230
Caudill MA, Strupp BJ, Muscalu L, Nevins JEH, Canfield RL. Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study. The FASEB Journal, 2018, Apr;32(4):2172-2180.
Powers BE, Santiago N, Kim, S, Strupp BJ. Rapid forgetting of social learning in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome: New evidence for hippocampal dysfunction. Behavioral Neuroscience, in press.
Alldred MJ, Chao HM, Lee SH, Beilin J, Powers, Petkova E, Strupp BJ, and Ginsberg SD. CA1 pyramidal neuron gene expression mosaics in the Ts65Dn murine model of Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease following maternal choline supplementation (MCS), Hippocampus, in press.
Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Field of Nutrition, Cornell University, 2016-2021
Cornell University Graduate Field Membership: Psychology; Nutrition; Environmental Toxicology
Curriculum Committee, Division of Nutritional Sciences, 2011-2014 (Acting Chairperson, Spring 2013), 2015-2021
Mentor, Cornell Teaching Partnership Program, Cornell Univeristy, June 2016-present.
Neurobehavioral Teratology Society, member
Society for Neuroscience, member
NIH Special Emphasis Panel, ZRG1 BBBP-V (57), review applications submitted for PAR13-195 – “Preclinical Research on Model Organisms to Predict Treatment Outcomes for Disorders Associated with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”, March 2016 (invited), October 2016, July 2017 (invited).
NIH Special Emphasis Panel to review P30 applications in response to RFA-HD-10-022: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC) July 25-26, 2016 (invited)
Member, Curriculum Committee, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
Director of Graduate Studies, Field of Nutrition, Cornell University
Member, DNS Executive Committee