Optogenetics relies on biodiversity

submitted by: nsf

How two unlikely microbes (that don’t even have brains) led to the development of one of today’s most promising brain research techniques—which is being used to study many diseases including schizophrenia and Parkinson’s.

Melina Hale explains how her research of zebrafish is helping to advance brain research

submitted by: nsf

Melina Hale of the University of Chicago is studying neuronal circuits in zebrafish that generate startle responses. Because little is known about how circuits operate in any organism and because startle responses are controlled by relatively simple circuits, an improved understanding of the circuitry of the zebrafish's startle responses is expected to help lay the groundwork for research on more complicated circuits.

Clifton Ragsdale reveals why octopuses are such successful predators

submitted by: nsf

Clifton Ragsdale of the University of Chicago is researching the nervous system of the octopus, which is a successful predator partly because it has excellent eyesight--the best of any invertebrate. The octopus's excellent eyesight enables it to visually zero in and focus on prey.

Partha Mitra explains his mouse brain research

submitted by: nsf

Partha Mitra of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is currently focused on the Mouse Brain Architecture Project (MAP), which is aimed at creating 3-D maps of the mouse brain at various scales.

Neuronal autophagosomes mature on the move

submitted by: JCB
Autophagy is a cellular degradation pathway essential for neuronal survival, but little is known about the dynamics of autophagic organelles in neurons. Maday et al. reveal that autophagosomes form and engulf cargo at the distal tips of neurites and then mature into degradative autolysosomes as they move toward the cell body. This biosights episode presents the paper by Maday et al. from the February 20, 2012, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with authors Sandra...

Rabbit Models for Alzheimer's Disease

submitted by: alex01

Diana Woodruff-Pak (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA) used cholesterol-fed rabbits as a model of AD for evaluation of currently available and potential anti-Alzheimer drugs. These animals developed typical Alzheimer pathology, including behavioral changes and deposition of ß-amyloid and even
tau. Galantamine and donepezil partially protected animals from Alzheimer symptomatology.

Neuropathic Pain Neurodegenerative Disease

submitted by: alex01

Dr. Remi Quirion (McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) described enhancement of the effects of pain-related peptides by PGE2 . This finding suggests a new, possible complimentary approach to the therapy of pain. Qurion also discussed anti-Alzheimer effect of polyphenols. This effect appears to be due not due to their antioxidant activity only. Quirion suggested the existence of membrane protein than binds polyphenols.

Alzheimer's Disease

submitted by: alex01
Z. Khachaturian, PhD. - New approaches to the therapy of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are discussed in video interviews of this series. According to Z. Khachaturian (Potomac, MD) substantial progress has been made during the last 10 years in our understanding of pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease as well as in the discovery of biomarkers and therapeutic approaches. In addition to cholinergic drugs, inhibitors of plaque formation have been discovered, but the currently available...

Dendrites of rod bipolar cells sprout in normal aging retina

submitted by: Liets
The aging nervous system is known to manifest a variety of degenerative and regressive events. Here we report the unexpected growth of dendrites in the retinas of normal old mice. The dendrites of many rod bipolar cells in aging mice were observed to extend well beyond their normal strata within the outer plexiform layer to innervate the outer nuclear layer where they appeared to form contacts with the spherules of rod photoreceptors. Such dendritic sprouting increased with age and was...
Authors: Lauren c. Liets, Kasra Eliasieh, Deborah a. van der List, Leo m. Chalupa

A semaphorin code defines subpopulations of spinal motor neurons during mouse development.

linked profile(s): lydiane
submitted by: apryl
In the spinal cord, motor neurons (MNs) with similar muscle targets and sensory inputs are grouped together into motor pools. To date, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms that control the establishment of pool-specific circuitry. Semaphorins, a large family of secreted and cell surface proteins, are important mediators of developmental processes such as axon guidance and cell migration. Here, we used mRNA in situ hybridization to study the expression patterns of...
Authors: Henderson Ce, Mann F., Rougon G, Livet J, Funkelstein L, Cohen S, Castellani V