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Bloodborne Tau: Foggy Window into the Brain for TBI, Dementia

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-21 Research News In this month’s JAMA Neurology, two papers examine whether tau circulating in plasma could offer a blood-based biomarker for brain disorders. One, by Kevin Wang, University of Florida, Gainesville, and others, measures total and ...

ApoE4 Makes All Things Tau Worse, From Beginning to End

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-20 Research News Today in the journal Nature, a large research collaboration led by David Holtzman of Washington University, St. Louis, formally published results previously presented at this year’s AD/PD conference (April 2017 conference news). The paper ...

More Evidence that Dementia Case Numbers Are Falling

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-18 Research News Numerous studies have reported a dip in dementia incidence in the developed world. When did this trend begin? In the September 5 JAMA Neurology, researchers led by Carol Derby at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York help address ...

From Protector to Instigator, Autophagy Makes About-Face in ALS

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-15 Research News Autophagy: good or bad? The answer may depend on when you're asking about. According to a September 11 paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, motor neurons use this “self-eating” function to stave off synaptic ...

New Tool Profiles mRNA Ends of Specific Cells in Mouse Brain

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-15 Research News Researchers have worked out a technique to capture snapshots of the 3' ends of mRNA species in distinct cell populations derived from intact tissue. In the September 13 Neuron, Robert Darnell at the Rockefeller University in New York ...

Microglial Kinase Promotes DAM, Blocks Lysosomal Aβ Digestion

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-15 Research News Microglia normally gobble up and break down Aβ. However, in Alzheimer’s disease, an altered inflammatory state causes them to stop clearing the aggregated peptide. How does this happen, and can it be stopped? Junying Yuan of Harvard Medical ...

Aging Mice are Sharper, Fitter on a High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-14 Research News Eating mostly greasy foods like butter, bacon, and mayonnaise may sound unhealthy and unappetizing, but two new studies revive previously touted benefits for physical and mental health of such a diet, at least in mice. Eric Verdin at the ...

Amyloid-β Fibril Structure Bares All

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-10 Research News The main component of Alzheimer’s plaques—fibrillar aggregates of amyloid-β(1-42) (Aβ42)—pose a sticky problem for structural biologists. In the past few years, groups have used various biophysical techniques to solve the molecular structure ...

Tau Droplets Sprout Microtubules

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-08 Research News For instant microtubules, just add a droplet of … tau. In the third recent paper to report that tau undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation, researchers describe how tau droplets subsume tubulin and—shazam!—microtubules grow and squelch the ...

Stem Cells Rescue Movement in Monkey Model of Parkinson’s

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-07 Research News Researchers are gearing up to start clinical trials that test whether replacement dopamine neurons made from human embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells can help patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). In the longest ...

Asthma Drugs Suppress α-Synuclein, Reduce Parkinson’s Risk

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-07 Research News Gobs of α-synuclein form the telltale Lewy bodies that wreak havoc in Parkinson’s and other synucleinopathies. Rather than attempting to clean them up, a new therapeutic strategy aims to prevent their formation in the first place. Reporting ...

New Look at Sex and ApoE4 Puts Women at Risk Earlier than Men

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-01 Research News Studies going back 20 years consistently indicate that the effects of ApoE4, the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset AD, hit women harder than men across the lifespan. In a new meta-analysis, Arthur Toga and colleagues at the ...

Retinal Plaques May Enable Noninvasive Screening for AD

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-09-01 Research News The eye, with its direct connection to the brain, has long tantalized researchers with its potential to serve as a window into Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Some researchers have found amyloid plaques accumulating in the lens or retina, ...

TREM2 Cleavage Site Pinpointed: A Gateway to New Therapies?

RESEARCH NEWS 2017-08-31 Research News Arriving at the same conclusion, essentially at the same time, three research groups have independently mapped the site where proteases snip off the extracellular portion of TREM2. Two papers in the August 30 issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine ...

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