When Host Proteins Coat Virus, Amyloid Fibrils Form

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-29 Research News When a virus enters a biological fluid of a host—blood, lung, or cerebrospinal fluid—it becomes ensheathed by a unique set of proteins from its new environment. The proteins that make up the sheath differ depending on the fluid and on the ...

Plasticity Hums With Protein Synthesis on Both Sides of Synapse

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-17 Research News Scientists know that synaptic plasticity requires local protein production from translation of mRNAs in postsynaptic dendrites. However, local synthesis had not been clearly demonstrated on the other, presynaptic side in mature axons. A new ...

The Mutation You Want: It Protects the Brain, Extends Life

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-31 Research News The lucky carriers of a coding variant in the phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCG2) gene may reap even more benefits than previously thought. In the May 27 Acta Neuropathologica, researchers confirm that people with the rs72824905-G allele not only ...

Parsing Local and Distal Aβ Shows Links to Metabolism, Cognition

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-06-14 Research News For decades, researchers have wondered why Aβ deposits in the brain correlate poorly with local neural activity and cognition. Perhaps the correlation was not that weak, after all. A study in the June 4 Nature Communications suggests that it ...

Brainstem GABAergic Inputs to Hippocampus Control Memory Formation

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-29 Research News The brainstem, wedged between the spinal cord and the cortex, collects sensory input and distributes it throughout the brain, where it affects all manner of cognitive processing. For example, input from the brainstem’s locus coeruleus to the ...

Keep Your Enthusiasm? Scientists Process Brutal Trial Data

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-05-16 Conference Coverage “There is a lot of bad news, but it’s useful bad news.” This line by Randy Bateman of Washington University, St. Louis, captured the mood at the AD/PD conference held March 27 to 31 in Lisbon, Portugal. Whereas in years past scientists ...

Microglia Instigate ‘Chemofog’ by Squelching Myelination

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-29 Research News We can now add myelination to the list of critical functions put on hold by cantankerous microglia. A paper published May 10 in Neuron reported that in mice treated with the widely used chemotherapy drug methotrexate, microglia became ...

Gamma Waves Synchronized by Light: Good for Synapses, Memory?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-17 Research News If using flashing lights to treat Alzheimer’s disease sounds like science fiction, then brace yourself, because new data strengthen the case for this idea. Previously, Li-Huei Tsai and colleagues at MIT had reported that a treatment ...

BACE Inhibitors: Postmortem on One, Live Updates on Two

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-05-17 Conference Coverage At the AD/PD 2019 conference held recently in Lisbon, the amyloid hypothesis was reeling from repeated gut punches in the clinic. Both antibodies and BACE inhibitors are facing relentless criticism from academic scientists and ...

Are Disease Mutations Lurking Within ‘Dark Regions’ of the Genome?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-23 Research News It’s not just the dark web. The dark genome, too, hides some nefarious goings-on, and it will take creative sleuthing to drag them into the light. Genomic sequencing has had some success scanning for rare variants that cause disease. Still, ...

Is APOB a Risk Gene for Early Onset Alzheimer’s?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-30 Research News Known gene mutations explain but a fraction of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. A majority of people who become symptomatic before age 65 have neither an autosomal-dominant inheritance pattern nor mutation. So what is causing their dementia? ...

Reproducible Brain Organoids Could Offer New Models for Research

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-06-06 Research News Brain organoids, those tiny balls of cells grown in a dish to model the human brain, are plagued by a major problem—they are each unique. That may be about to change. Scientists led by Paola Arlotta, Harvard University, Cambridge, ...

Dead Microglia Pave the Way for Myelin Regeneration

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-06-12 Research News In brain disease, microglia can be villains or heroes. How to encourage the latter? In the June 10 Nature Neuroscience, researchers led by Veronique Miron at the University of Edinburgh tried by killing off the troublemakers. In a mouse ...

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