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Local Flavor: At Protein Level, Too, Human Microglia Are Diverse

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-12-21 Research News Just last month, gene expression profiling of individual mouse microglia showcased diverse phenotypes that reflected the cells’ multifaceted roles in development and immune surveillance. Efforts to do the same with human microglia have ...

When Glial Clocks Fall Out of Sync, Inflammation Ensues

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-21 Conference Coverage The circadian clock—the body’s molecular timekeeper—is best known for tuning our sleep, metabolism, digestion, and body temperature to the cycles of dark and light. Yet it controls other functions, as well. At the Society for ...

TDP-43: Separating Physiological Wheat from Pathological Chaff

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-12-21 Research News Up to now, toxic TDP-43 aggregates have been hard to isolate, making them difficult to characterize physically. A new technique from the lab of Magdalini Polymenidou, University of Zurich, may help. Called SarkoSpin, it separates the ...

Tau Silences, Aβ Inflames; Hitting Excitatory Synapses Hardest

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-20 Conference Coverage Part 2 of a two-part story. Click here for Part 1. Long before neurons die in the Alzheimer’s brain, their synapses go kaput. Both Aβ and tau pathology have been blamed for this synaptic breakdown, but at the Society for Neuroscience ...

Toxic Tau: Who Are You, and Where Are You From?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-20 Conference Coverage Part 1 of a two-part story. Click here for Part 2. Tau comes in many forms, and calls many locations home, both inside and outside of cells. Which is the one that wreaks damage to neurons, and where exactly does it reside? Researchers ...

How Immune Cells From Blood Beget Aging in Brain

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-14 Conference Coverage Never mind the wrinkles and gray hair. Embattled microglia, waning neurogenesis, and withering synapses are also part and parcel of the aging process. What drives those seemingly inexorable changes inside the brain? At the Society for ...

Autopsy Study Confirms Flortaucipir PET Lights Up Tau Pathology

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-12-14 Research News For a PET ligand, validation is literally a matter of life and death. Its reliability rides on a direct comparison of tracer uptake in a living person with his or her autopsy result. In the December 3 JAMA Neurology, Ruben Smith and Oskar ...

Microglia Reveal Formidable Complexity, Deep Culpability in AD

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-12-13 Research News Genetic studies of late-onset Alzheimer’s point to variations in the function of the innate immune system—and its CNS cadre, the microglia. Why would immune genes determine whether a person will get the disease? Perhaps because the innate ...

World Dementia Council Takes Stock of Progress, Challenges

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-12 Conference Coverage On December 5, global leaders came together at the Wellcome Trust offices in London for a meeting of the World Dementia Council, the body charged with leading the global response to dementia and coordinating international efforts ...

Does Oleic Acid Hold the Key to α-Synuclein Toxicity?

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-12-10 Research News Dieticians recommend consuming mostly unsaturated fats for cardiovascular health and a slim waistline. Now, in a surprising twist, researchers claim one such fat, oleic acid, may worsen α-synuclein pathology. In the December 4 Molecular Cell ...

First Round of Awards from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announced

COMMUNITY NEWS 2018-12-07 Community News Earlier this year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) dove into the field of neurodegenerative disease research, launching the Neurodegenerative Challenge Network to promote cross-disciplinary basic science research (Feb 2018 news). On ...

Neurofilament Light: A Universal Mark of Neurodegeneration

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-12-07 Research News A paper in the December 3 JAMA Neurology adds yet more evidence that neurofilament light (NfL) protein is a general biomarker of neurodegeneration. Scientists led by Bob Olsson and Erik Portelius, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found ...

A Proteomics Dive into Cause of Frontotemporal Dementia

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-06 Conference Coverage If DNA makes RNA makes protein, then genomic variants make RNA make protein … make disease. While scientists have found polymorphisms that associate with various forms of frontotemporal dementia, deciphering how they perturb proteins ...

Tracking Onset and Progression of Frontotemporal Dementia

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2018-12-05 Conference Coverage Now that initiatives such as ARTFL and LEFFTDS have gathered sufficient numbers of participants for scientists to tackle prevention and treatment trials (see Part 2 of this conference series), the need for better tools to track onset ...

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