Immune from Chronic Stress? Limit Inflammatory Signaling to Specific Brain Circuits

Chronic stress is associated with the pathogenesis of psychological disorders such as depression. A study is the first to identify the role of a neuronal receptor that straddles the intersection between social stress, inflammation, and anxiety in rodent models of stress. Findings suggest the possibility of developing better medications to treat the consequences of chronic stress by limiting inflammatory signaling not just generally, which may not be beneficial in the long run, but to specific brain circuits.

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UNH Researchers Find Synchronization of Memory Cells Critical For Learning and Forming Memories

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire found that the neurons involved in Pavlovian learning shift their behavior and become more synchronized when a memory is being formed – a finding that helps better understand memory mechanisms and provides clues for the development of future therapies for memory-related diseases like dementia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Better Biosensor Technology Created for Stem Cells

A Rutgers-led team has created better biosensor technology that may help lead to safe stem cell therapies for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other neurological disorders. The technology, which features a unique graphene and gold-based platform and high-tech imaging, monitors the fate of stem cells by detecting genetic material (RNA) involved in turning such cells into brain cells (neurons), according to a study in the journal Nano Letters.

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Single protein plays important dual transport roles in the brain

Edwin Chapman of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Wisconsin–Madison reports that halting production of synaptotagmin 17 (syt-17) blocks growth of axons. Equally significant, when cells made more syt-17, axon growth accelerated. A wide range of neurological conditions could benefit from the growth of axons, including spinal cord injuries and some neurodegenerative diseases.

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