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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 ...

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 ...

Familial Alzheimer’s Mutations: Different Mechanisms, Same End Result

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-04-12 Research News Though all autosomal-dominant AD mutations lead to Aβ pathology, they do so by disturbing γ-secretase processing of APP in different ways. In the April 12 Molecular Psychiatry, researchers led by Selina Wray of University College London ...

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 ...

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 ...

Anti-Tau Antibody Looks Safe, Hits Target

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-05-31 Research News As anti-tau antibodies move through clinical trials, Biogen researchers led by Tien Dam publish results from the Phase 1b trial of their antibody BIIB092 in the June Lancet Neurology. This antibody recognizes N-terminal fragments of tau, ...

Mutant Tau Messes Up Connectivity of Newborn Neurons

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-06-05 Research News Few studies have examined what happens to adult-born neurons in frontotemporal dementia. In the May 27 Journal of Neuroscience, researchers led by María Llorens-Martín at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid report that in a mouse model of the ...

Study Strengthens Link between Hepatitis C Virus, Parkinson’s

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-06-13 Research News Epidemiology has tied infection with hepatitis C to an increased risk for Parkinson’s disease. But what happens when the infection is treated? By surveying medical records of nearly 200,000 patients, researchers led by Ying-Zu Huang and Rou ...

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 ...

Chimeric Mice: Can They Model Human Microglial Responses?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-04-26 Conference Coverage Microglia are finicky. Take them out of their normal environment and they have a personality meltdown. They dramatically change gene expression and just about turn into a different type of cell. How, then, to study human microglia in a ...

Paper Alerts: Massive GWAS Studies Published

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-03-02 Research News On February 28 in Nature Genetics online, geneticists from the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project published the largest genome-wide association meta-analysis to date. Brian Kunkle, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, ...

Single-Cell Profiling Maps Human Microglial Diversity, Flexibility

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-02-23 Research News A first go at cataloging gene expression in individual microglia from human brain reveals a picture similar to that seen in mice: Microglia come in many flavors, morphing over time with age and brain location, and in response to disease. In ...

Intelligence Matters More for Brain Reserve, but Education Helps

RESEARCH NEWS 2018-10-12 Research News Two recent studies examine the effect of early life brain function on late-life risk for Alzheimer’s disease. On September 7 in the new, open-access journal JAMA Network Open, scientists led by Susan Lapham, American Institutes for Research, ...

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 ...

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