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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 ...

Brain Conference Spotlights Transcriptomics, Therapeutic Strategies

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-05-24 Conference Coverage About 140 scientists gathered in Rungstedgaard, north of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 5–9 for the biannual Brain Conference organized by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and the Lundbeck Foundation. Co-chaired by Beth ...

Neurogenesis Wanes in Alzheimer’s, Along With Cognition

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-24 Research News Does neurogenesis keep the brain sharp? This unsettled debate is getting new fuel this week. In the May 23 Cell Stem Cell online, researchers led by Orly Lazarov at the University of Illinois, Chicago, report that they can find newborn ...

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, ...

Antisense Oligonucleotides: Can They Take on ALS, SMA, Prions?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-05-22 Conference Coverage At the American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting, held May 4–10 in Philadelphia, researchers showcased their latest data on antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). These short, synthetic, single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides bind ...

C9ORF72 Toxicity Tied to Mitochondria, Transcriptional Machinery

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-22 Research News Two studies offer new potential ways of quelling the neuron-killing rampage of the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide expansion, the biggest genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). In one, a mouse model ...

Paper Alert: VCAM1 Opens the Door to Brain Aging

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-18 Research News Mysterious factors in the blood are known to trigger aging in the brain. Though researchers have yet to discover the identities of all these aging agents, they have pegged a protein that lets them do their dirty work. On May 13 in Nature ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

WHO Weighs in With Guidelines for Preventing Dementia

COMMUNITY NEWS 2019-05-17 Community News Many researchers and advocacy groups tout the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for preventing cognitive decline and dementia. Now the World Health Organization has weighed in, releasing a set of guidelines for lowering risk. The guidelines ...

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 ...

Forget Fibrils: Lewy Pathology Is More Lipid Than Protein

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-05-10 Conference Coverage In Parkinson’s disease, abnormal deposits called Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites pop up in neurons and processes, respectively. In 1998, Maria Grazia Spillantini at the University of Cambridge identified α-synuclein as their major ...

Do Immune Cells Promote the Spread of α-Synuclein Pathology?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-05-10 Conference Coverage How does α-synuclein pathology spread? At the 14th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, held March 27–31 in Lisbon, Portugal, speakers said immune cells bear some of the blame. Markus Britschgi of Roche in ...

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