Michael I. Sandstrom is an associate professor in both Psychology and the Neuroscience Program. He joined the faculty of the Central Michigan University Psychology Department in Spring 2004. Before that he held a postdoctoral position at Indiana University, Bloomington campus since receiving his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Ohio State University in 1998.
Dr. Sandstrom's research interests focus on the physiological side of behavioral neuroscience. Specifically, experiments explore mechanisms that underlie plasticity and recovery of the mammalian brain following neuronal deterioration-induced deficits that disrupt behavior. Most of Dr. Sandstrom's earlier work has explored compensatory changes in basal ganglia function related to either Parkinson's disease or Huntington’s disease (HD) using animal models. While the behavioral deficits in movement and cognition are a hallmark of the psychological attributes, Dr. Sandstrom is far more focused on the underlying mechanisms that generate disrupted neuronal activity and in measuring these as presumed precursors to outward behavior expression. Currently, Dr. Sandstrom is processing how neuronal stem cells incorporate themselves into the network of the basal ganglia and acquire activities indicating they have become neurons in concert with their capacity to improve movement skills in animals modeling HD. He is utilizing optogenetics to find newly transplanted neurons and record their activities at various stages following transplantation while simultaneously tracking behavior improvements. Other techniques include in-vivo microdialysis, single unit electrophysiology, iontophoresis, and other experiments using awake and unrestrained animals, immunohistochemistry, local intracranial infusions, and sophisticated molecular and neurochemical analysis strategies.
Sandstrom, M.I., Steffes, S.K., Jayaprakash, N., Wolfram-Aduan, A., and Dunbar, G.L., Book Chapter: Early Dysfunction of Neural Transmission and Cognitive Processing, in Huntington’s Disease, In Huntington’s Disease - Core Concepts and Current Advances, Nagehan Ersoy Tunali Ed., (February 2012),ISBN:978-953-307-953-0,InTech,Open Source & available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/huntington-s-disease-core-concepts-and-current-advances/early-dysfunction-of-neural-transmission-and-cognitive-processing-in-huntington-s-disease
Dey N.D., Bombard M.C., Roland B.P., Davidson S., Lu M., Rossignol J., Sandstrom M.I., Skeel R.L., Lescaudron L., & Dunbar G.L., Genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells reduce behavioral deficits in the YAC 128 mouse model of Huntington's disease. Behavioural Brain Research. (2010), 214(2), 193-200.
Sandstrom, M.I., and Steffes, S., Constructing inexpensive, flexible, and versatile microdialysis probes in an undergraduate microdialysis research lab, Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE), (2008), Fall Quarter, 7(1), A33-A47.