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  1. Have you checked out SfN's eNeuro Blog? Read the newest article and let us know your thoughts! Reviewing Editor Karl Herrup, PhD selected this paper and explains why he considers it noteworthy. While aggregates of the microtubule associated protein tau have been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) since its first description, there are aspects of the tau/Alzheimer's relationship that are difficult to understand. Tau hyper-phosphorylation facilitates its aggregation in vitro and the anatomic sites of tau aggregates correlate well with the loss of cognitive function. While these observations have held up well, it has always been a puzzle why the same post-translational phosphorylations of the tau protein that characterize the pathological aggregates found in the Alzheimer's brain are also found, without consequence, during fetal development. Betters et al. report differences in proteins interacting with tau between fetal brain and both adult and AD brain that were not found between adult control and AD brain. Furthermore, the interaction between 14-3-3 and tau was primarily associated with 4R tau, which is lacking in fetal brain. The study does not solve the problem entirely but does offer an important advance that should be of interest to the field. Read the full article: Characterization of the Tau Interactome in Human Brain Reveals Isoform-Dependent Interaction with 14-3-3 Family Proteins Ryan K. Betters, Emma Luhmann, Amy C. Gottschalk, Zhen Xu, Mallory R. Shin, Christopher P. Ptak, Kimberly L. Fiock, Lilliana C. Radoshevich, and Marco M. Hefti Category: Editor's Pick Tags: Disorders of the Nervous System, Neuroscience Research
  2. A study again exemplifying the mind-body connection: https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/baby-teeth-reveal-genetic-and-environmental-causes-of-autism-289276
  3. Has anyone been working with microbiologists to really dig into the mechanisms underlying the links between the brain and the microbiome? I attended several presentations at the annual meeting that found relationships between the gut microbiome and the brain, but not many went beyond just presenting correlations between either diversity or abundance of single genera. I would love to learn more about the specific roles of the microbes that are affected by treatments/manipulations, or are found to predict neural and/or behavioral states, particularly during development.
  4. JAMA Ophthalmology reports that infants born with microcephaly resulting from infection with the ZIKA virus also have a number of serious ocular abnormalities which include the retina and the optic nerve. The pilot study involved infants with an abnormally small cephalic circumference (32)cm or less). The study concludes, “These data suggest that clinicians should consider ophthalmologic evaluations of newborns from regions in the Americas where Zika virus transmission has spread rapidly to identify lesions associated with this presumed Zika virus congenital infection.” It seems the more we learn about the tragic impact of the ZIKA virus the worse it gets.
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