Neuroscience INSIGHTS


Animal Models and the Question of Adult Neurogenesis

Adult neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons after embryonic and postnatal development have concluded. The creation of neural connections later in life has important implications for learning and memory, cognitive decline, and neurobiological diseases such as Alzheimer's. As a result, this topic has garnered a vast amount of attention in contemporary research. Despite such scrutiny, however, both the prevalence and significance of adult neurogenesis in...

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Investigating Tauopathies with Transgenic Mice

In a recent manuscript by Musi and co-authors, a combinatorial approach was adopted to investigate the tauopathy-mediated mechanisms underlying human Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in post-mortem human brain tissue and transgenic mice1. Human neurodegenerative diseases comprise a heterogenous group of disorders, underpinned by complex interactions of cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic molecular mechanisms between multiple different neuronal and non-neuronal cell types. Understandably, the spatio-temporal isolation and investigation of specific pathogenic...

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New Neurons

On August 27, 2018, researchers at University of Szeged, Allen Institute for Brain Science, J. Craig Venter Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Illumina, Inc., and University of California, San Diego published a paper titled, Transcriptomic and morphophysiological evidence for a specialized human cortical GABAergic cell type in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The research was featured on NPR and looks at newly discovered neurons named "rose hip neurons"...

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PD-1 Blockade Ineffective in AD Mouse Models

More than 45 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD) or dementia. The costs are staggering, and no cure exists. Development of new therapies has been challenging, with many promising new drugs failing in late stage clinical trials. Inducing Immune Response in AD Mouse Models Interest in new therapeutic pathways was piqued in 2016, when Baruch et al. reported that PD-1 checkpoint inhibition induced an immune...

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The Long-Term Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury

National Vital Statistics System Mortality Data — United States, 2001-2010 (Deaths) Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a growing problem. An estimated 10 million people are affected annually worldwide by TBI, and the burden of mortality and morbidity that imposes on society makes TBI a pressing public health and medical problem1. The populations most at risk are children, teens, and the elderly and TBI contributes to numerous hospital...

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World MS Day

To mark World MS Day and raise awareness of this disease, we're taking a look at the state of preclinical MS research and efforts to produce more translatable MS animal models. What is Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the nervous system, one of the most common neurological disorders and causes of disability in young adults. MS affects 2.3 million people worldwide, including...

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

During the third week of January The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) host an annual event focusing on substance abuse and its impact on teenagers. Launched in 2010, the National Drug Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) focuses on substance abuse education, linking students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol. NDAFW is...

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A Redox Link between APOE4 and Alzheimer's Disease Risk?

A Redox Link between APOE4 and Alzheimer's Disease Risk? Individuals homozygous for APOE4, one of three common genetic variants encoding Apolipoprotein E (apoE), carry approximately twelve-times higher risk for an Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis. A recent study suggests a potentially critical link between apoE4 and the antioxidant enzyme Thioredoxin-1 (Trx1) may underlie enhanced AD risk in APOE4 carriers. APOE Alleles Modify Alzheimer's Risk ApoE protein is predominantly...

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Chronic Pain Management Research and the Opioid Crisis

Developing novel drugs for chronic pain management — both more effective and less addictive than opioids — will reduce the number of patients at risk of opioid dependence. Chronic Pain and the Opioid Crisis More than 25% of Americans suffer from chronic pain. This is on par with adults from equivalent regions; between 10-25% of adults in other western countries experience chronic pain, while some estimates of...

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Animal Models of Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

As the opioid crisis continues, every week brings new and alarming developments, legislative attempts to address the epidemic, and new formulations of street drugs which are contaminated, or resistant to naloxone. This has sparked a variety of debates concerning how we can best address the situation. From a public health perspective, however, the need to explore relevant and predictive animal models of addiction and develop novel strategies...

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