Neuroscience INSIGHTS


Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

As Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month concludes we review the state of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research, its biological mechanisms, and available in vivo research models of AD. Alzheimer's Disease Overview Since the original National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month in November 1983, the number of afflicted patients in the US has risen from two to five million; it is projected to increase to 14 million by 20501. AD is...

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Parkinson's Disease, Your Appendix, and the Microbiome

Parkinson's disease (PD) affects 1 million people in the U.S. annually and there is no known cure. Can connections between the gut microbiome, the appendix, and the pathology of PD provide fresh therapeutic options? State of Parkinson's Disease Treatment Primary treatments and research areas for PD historically revolved around drugs that increase the levels of dopamine in the synaptic space (Levodopa, Lodosyn, Duopa), medications that act as...

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Investigating Tauopathies with Transgenic Mice

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...

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New Neurons

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"...

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PD-1 Blockade Ineffective in AD Mouse Models

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...

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The Long-Term Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury

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...

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World MS Day

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...

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Tauopathy Alzheimer's Disease Models Yield Contrasting Results

In a recent Alzheimer's Research and Therapy article, scientists described failing to elicit beneficial effects from a tau-directed antibody therapy while evaluating its efficacy in the Tg4510 mouse, an Alzheimer's disease (AD) model with a tamoxifen-controlled transgene expressing P301L mutant tau. The results contrast prior successes reported with the antibody therapy the researchers were testing. The therapeutic, a tau oligomer-specific monoclonal antibody (TOMA), was reported to rescue...

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

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...

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A Redox Link between APOE4 and Alzheimer's Disease Risk?

A Redox Link between APOE4 and Alzheimer's Disease Risk? Individuals homozygous for APOE4, one of three common genetic variants encoding Apolipoprotein E (apoE), carry approximately twelve-times higher risk for an Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis. A recent study suggests a potentially critical link between apoE4 and the antioxidant enzyme Thioredoxin-1 (Trx1) may underlie enhanced AD risk in APOE4 carriers. APOE Alleles Modify Alzheimer's Risk ApoE protein is predominantly...

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