Shisa7 is a GABAA receptor auxiliary subunit controlling benzodiazepine actions
Meningitis changes immune cell makeup in the mouse brain lining
Smoldering Brain Lesions Might Signal Severe Multiple Sclerosis
Our brains may ripple before remembering
Understanding Aging Brain Disorders
Neuroligins
1 2 3 4 5 6

Shisa7 is a GABAA receptor auxiliary subunit controlling benzodiazepine actions

GABAA receptors mediate the majority of fast inhibitory synaptic transmission in the brain and are prominent targets for a variety of medicines widely used in the treatment of mood, sleep and seizure disorders. A recent publication in Science from Dr. Wei Lu’s laboratory identified a transmembrane molecule, Shisa7, that interacts with GABAA receptors, controls inhibitory transmission, and modulates GABAA receptor psychopharmacology, highlighting a new potential therapeutic target for treatment of nervous system disorders associated with GABAA receptors and inhibitory transmission.    Learn More » Exit Disclaimer

Meningitis Changes Immune Cell Makeup in the Mouse Brain Lining

Meningitis, a group of serious diseases which infect the brain’s lining, leaves its mark and can affect the body’s ability to fight such infections in the future. According to a new study published in Nature Immunology by Dr. Dorian McGavern, infections can have long-lasting effects on a population of meningeal immune cells, replacing them with cells from outside the meninges that then change and become less likely to recognize and ward off future attacks. The research was supported by the NINDS, part of the National Institutes of Health.   Learn More » Exit Disclaimer

“Smoldering” Brain Lesions Might Signal Severe Multiple Sclerosis

Aided by a high-powered brain scanner and a 3-D printer, NIH researchers peered inside the brains of hundreds of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and found that dark-rimmed spots that represent ongoing, “smoldering” inflammation, called chronic active lesions, may be a hallmark of more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease. “We found that it is possible to use brain scans to detect which patients are highly susceptible to the more aggressive forms of multiple sclerosis. The more chronic active lesions a patient has the greater the chances they will experience this type of MS,” said Dr. Daniel S. Reich. Learn More » Exit Disclaimer

Our Brains May Ripple Before Remembering

A sound, a smell, a word can all flood our minds with memories of past experiences. In a study of epilepsy patients led by Dr. Kareem Zaghloul, researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that split seconds before we recall these events tiny electrical waves, called ripples, may flow through key parts of our brains that help store our memories, setting the stage for successful retrieval. Learn More » Exit Disclaimer

NIH Study Implicates Hyperactive Immune System in Aging Brain Disorders

In a study of fruit flies, NIH scientists suggested that the body’s immune system may play a critical role in the damage caused by aging brain disorders. The results are based on experiments in which the researchers altered the activity of Cdk5, a gene that preclinical studies have suggested is important for early brain development and may be involved in neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Previously, they found that altering Cdk5 sped up the genetic aging process, causing the flies to die earlier than normal and have problems with walking or flying late in life and greater signs of neurodegenerative brain damage.  Learn More » 

Isoform-specific Cleavage of Neuroligin-3 Reduces Synapse Strength

Neuroligins are neuronal cell adhesion molecules that have been associated with autism spectrum disorders. However, recent reports have identified a cleaved form of Neuroligin-3 (NLGN3) as a potent mitogen, which promotes glioma growth. A publication of a new study led by Dr. Katherine Roche demonstrates that NLGN3 is proteolytically cleaved in response to synaptic activity and protein kinase C signaling resulting in reduced synapse strength. These findings show an unexpected neuronal role for neuroligins in synapse disassembly. In addition, these mechanistic insights into NLGN3 cleavage could aid in developing novel therapeutic targets for glioma.  Learn More »