Neuroscience INSIGHTS

Sexual dimorphism in fear learning memory due to epigenetic modification by Cdk5

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Epigenetics of FLM, Stress, and Neuro-Degenerative Disease The epigenetic post-translational modifications of histone (hPTMs) is a notable cellular response mechanism to environmental stimuli2. Emerging reports point to the sexual dimorphism of epigenetic hPTMs within the neurobehavioral context of fear, learning, and memory (FLM), in neuro-degenerative diseases, as well as stress- and trauma- related disorders3,4. Developmental and Functional Roles of Cdk5 One important protein in cognitive functions is...  Read More

Gut-Derived Iga+Ve Plasma Cells Suppresses Neuroinflammation in MS Mouse Model

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The glial cells play pivotal roles in the central nervous system (CNS) by supporting its development, maintaining homeostasis, producing myelin, and providing support and protection for neurons1. These cells are increasingly under scientific scrutiny in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders (ND). The activated microglia, a subset of glial cells, have been demonstrated to be the main determinant of neuroinflammation that contributes to neurodegeneration2. Increasing evidence supports the...  Read More

Defining the CNS Immune System, One Cell at a Time

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Illustrations of the three general phases of Alzheimer's Disease (AD): #1 Neuron, #2 Neuron with β-amyloid plaques, #3 Neuron with β-amyloid plaques (yellow) and activated microglia (red). In preclinical neuroscience research, the brain's resident immune system and its role in a multitude of CNS diseases have generated a newfound focus on its therapeutic possibilities6. Classically, the CNS has been regarded as having a relatively weak immune surveillance,...  Read More

Animal Models and the Question of Adult Neurogenesis

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Adult neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons after embryonic and postnatal development have concluded. The creation of neural connections later in life has important implications for learning and memory, cognitive decline, and neurobiological diseases such as Alzheimer's. As a result, this topic has garnered a vast amount of attention in contemporary research. Despite such scrutiny, however, both the prevalence and significance of adult neurogenesis in...  Read More

Investigating Tauopathies with Transgenic Mice

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In a recent manuscript by Musi and co-authors, a combinatorial approach was adopted to investigate the tauopathy-mediated mechanisms underlying human Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in post-mortem human brain tissue and transgenic mice1. Human neurodegenerative diseases comprise a heterogenous group of disorders, underpinned by complex interactions of cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic molecular mechanisms between multiple different neuronal and non-neuronal cell types. Understandably, the spatio-temporal isolation and investigation of specific pathogenic...  Read More

New Neurons

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On August 27, 2018, researchers at University of Szeged, Allen Institute for Brain Science, J. Craig Venter Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Illumina, Inc., and University of California, San Diego published a paper titled, Transcriptomic and morphophysiological evidence for a specialized human cortical GABAergic cell type in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The research was featured on NPR and looks at newly discovered neurons named "rose hip neurons"...  Read More

PD-1 Blockade Ineffective in AD Mouse Models

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More than 45 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD) or dementia. The costs are staggering, and no cure exists. Development of new therapies has been challenging, with many promising new drugs failing in late stage clinical trials. Inducing Immune Response in AD Mouse Models Interest in new therapeutic pathways was piqued in 2016, when Baruch et al. reported that PD-1 checkpoint inhibition induced an immune...  Read More

The Long-Term Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury

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National Vital Statistics System Mortality Data — United States, 2001-2010 (Deaths) Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a growing problem. An estimated 10 million people are affected annually worldwide by TBI, and the burden of mortality and morbidity that imposes on society makes TBI a pressing public health and medical problem1. The populations most at risk are children, teens, and the elderly and TBI contributes to numerous hospital...  Read More

World MS Day

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To mark World MS Day and raise awareness of this disease, we're taking a look at the state of preclinical MS research and efforts to produce more translatable MS animal models. What is Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the nervous system, one of the most common neurological disorders and causes of disability in young adults. MS affects 2.3 million people worldwide, including...  Read More

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

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During the third week of January The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) host an annual event focusing on substance abuse and its impact on teenagers. Launched in 2010, the National Drug Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) focuses on substance abuse education, linking students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol. NDAFW is...  Read More