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Neurogenesis Plays Underappreciated Role In Alzheimer’s Disease

Much of the research on the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease focuses on amyloid beta, a protein that accumulates in the brain as the disease progresses. Excess amyloid beta (Aß) proteins form clumps or “plaques” that disrupt communication between brain cells and trigger inflammation, eventually leading to widespread loss of neurons and brain tissue. Aß […]

Autism May Stem from Genetic Defect During Scaffolding Of Developing Brain

A gene mutation associated with autism spectrum disorders normally works to organize the scaffolding of brain cells called radial progenitors necessary for the orderly formation of the brain, report scientists from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The finding sheds light on the molecular details of a key process in brain […]

Alzheimer’s: Microglia Have Key Role In Proliferation Of Tau Pathologies

The link between amyloid beta and tau may lie in the brain’s immune cells that hem in clumps of amyloid, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found. If the immune cells falter, amyloid clumps, or plaques, injure nearby neurons and create a toxic environment that accelerates the formation and spread […]

Inflammatory Microglial Activity In Neurodegenerative Diseases

Targeting immune checkpoints — molecules that regulate the activity of the immune system — in microglia could reduce the inflammatory aspects of important neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), new work from a group of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators proposes. Their recently published review article discusses how uncontrolled […]

CD47 Signals Protect Synapses From Inappropriate Microglial Pruning

An innate immune signaling pathway protects synapses from inappropriate removal, a new study from Boston Children’s Hospital researchers shows. The developing brain is constantly forming new connections, or synapses, between nerve cells. Many connections are eventually lost, while others are strengthened. In 2012, Beth Stevens, Ph.D. and her lab at Boston Children’s Hospital showed that […]