Neuroscience INSIGHTS


Investigating Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Models

Despite tau proteins having essential roles in neurodegeneration and amyloid-mediated neurotoxicity, Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutic development has largely focused on amyloid-beta. Recent investigations, in humans and rodent Alzheimer's Disease models, suggest specific tau species might be major pathological contributors to AD progression and, as such, an even better target than amyloid-beta for effective AD therapies. Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Monomeric tau proteins are abundant in neurons,...

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Society for Neuroscience 2016 Abstracts - By the Numbers

In a little less than a month, 30,000 scientists will gather in San Diego for Society for Neuroscience 2016 Annual Meeting. Over 15,000 abstracts have been accepted for presentations in symposia, mini-symposia, and posters. There will be more than 100 satellite events being held in conjunction with the annual meeting with at least 600 exhibitors showcasing new tools and technologies. The volume of information and insight on...

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Copy Number Variation, Microdeletion, and Disease

Copy number variations (CNVs) are duplications and deletions to large (~5kb-5mb) genomic regions found in varying degrees within the human population. These duplications and deletions significantly contribute to human genetic diversity and can dramatically affect gene-dosage. Recently, pathologic and highly-penetrant CNVs have been identified in patients with neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. The microdeletion at chromosome location 15q13.3 is one example. This CNV can result in a range...

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Alzheimer's Treatment Decreases Plaques, Improves Cognition

Researchers at Biogen published a pivotal Phase 1b clinical study of an Alzheimer's treatment showing not only a decrease in plaques when the monoclonal antibody aducanumab is administered, but also some cognitive improvement in humans. From the paper: "Antibody-based immunotherapy against Αβ to trigger its clearance or mitigate its neurotoxicity has so far been unsuccessful. Here we report the generation of aducanumab, a human monoclonal antibody that...

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Cancer Drug Suggests Promising Alzheimer's Treatment

In a 2015 report, a team of scientist from the Weizmann Institute of Science provided compelling evidence that boosting the immune response in the brain (as opposed to suppressing it) might be a promising avenue for Alzheimer's research. In an extension of its initial findings, the team found that inhibiting an immune-checkpoint pathway which is targeted in the treatment of certain forms of cancer dramatically reduces Alzheimer's...

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Mouse model helps accelerate development of new Alzheimer's therapies

The majority of the drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of cognitive symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients are cholinesterase inhibitors and include drugs such as donepezil, galantamine, and rivastagimine. However, the tolerated doses of cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, produce only partial improvement in memory and can have severe GI side effects. Since these medications have to be taken for prolonged durations, the limited efficacy...

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