Nav: Home

JNeurosci: Highlights from the Sept. 7 issue

September 07, 2016

Check out these newsworthy studies from the September 7, 2016, issue of JNeurosci. Media interested in obtaining the full text of the studies should contact media@sfn.org.

Anti-Inflammatory Drug Protects Neurons in Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease

Increasing evidence shows inflammation contributes to the neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease.

In a new study, researchers find targeting a specific kind of immune cell with anti-inflammatory drugs modified the brain's inflammatory response, reduced degeneration of dopamine neurons, and improved performance on a motor task.

Corresponding author: Marina Romero-Ramos, mrr@biomed.au.dk

Cellular Changes May Explain Why Strong Fearful Memories Last

Each time we recall a memory, our brain networks change in subtle ways that can tweak the memory itself. But some memories, particularly fearful ones, resist these changes and seem to be more permanent. In a new study, researchers find strong fearful memories alter the composition of specific glutamate receptors in mice, making the memories more resistant to the destabilization associated with memory recall. Scientists are investigating memory modification as a potential treatment for disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the new findings could further these efforts.

Corresponding author: Jonathan Ploski, jonathan.ploski@utdallas.edu

Hyperglycemia Impairs Protective Immune Response to Stroke in Mice

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has been linked to poor recovery from and increased mortality after stroke, but the mechanism behind hyperglycemia's detrimental effects is unclear. In a new study in mice, researchers find hyperglycemia prevents certain immune cells from switching to an anti-inflammatory and protective mode. Blocking a specific receptor restored this switching and reversed some of the detrimental effects caused by hyperglycemia.

Corresponding author: Markus Schwaninger, markus.schwaninger@pharma.uni-luebeck.de

Brain Basis of Punishment Decisions

Third-party punishment is crucial to human social organization, and punishment decisions are based primarily on the offender's state of mind and the harm their crime inflicted. In a new study, researchers scanned participants' brains while they judged how a fictional protagonist should be punished. They find evaluation of the offender's mental state involves brain regions that help interpret others' intentions, while evaluating harm uses emotional and sensory processing areas of the brain. The prefrontal cortex integrates the two types of information to determine an appropriate punishment.

Corresponding author: Owen Jones, owen.jones@vanderbilt.edu

Increase in Brain Protein During Adulthood Reduces Dendritic Spine Turnover, Limiting Neuronal Plasticity

Lynx1, a protein blocking nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, is produced more abundantly in the adult brain and consequently limits synaptic plasticity. A new study suggests decreased turnover of dendritic spines -- the small protrusions receiving signals from other neurons -- is the culprit. Mice without the Lynx1 protein had double the rate of spine turnover compared to normal mice, suggesting Lynx1 as a potential therapeutic target for promoting neuronal plasticity in the aging brain.

Corresponding author: Hirofumi Morishita, hirofumi.morishita@mssm.edu
-end-
The Journal of Neuroscience is published by the Society for Neuroscience, an organization of nearly 38,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.

Society for Neuroscience

Related Neurons Articles:

How do we get so many different types of neurons in our brain?
SMU (Southern Methodist University) researchers have discovered another layer of complexity in gene expression, which could help explain how we're able to have so many billions of neurons in our brain.
These neurons affect how much you do, or don't, want to eat
University of Arizona researchers have identified a network of neurons that coordinate with other brain regions to influence eating behaviors.
Mood neurons mature during adolescence
Researchers have discovered a mysterious group of neurons in the amygdala -- a key center for emotional processing in the brain -- that stay in an immature, prenatal developmental state throughout childhood.
Astrocytes protect neurons from toxic buildup
Neurons off-load toxic by-products to astrocytes, which process and recycle them.
Connecting neurons in the brain
Leuven researchers uncover new mechanisms of brain development that determine when, where and how strongly distinct brain cells interconnect.
The salt-craving neurons
Pass the potato chips, please! New research discovers neural circuits that regulate craving and satiation for salty tastes.
When neurons are out of shape, antidepressants may not work
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medication for major depressive disorder (MDD), yet scientists still do not understand why the treatment does not work in nearly thirty percent of patients with MDD.
Losing neurons can sometimes not be that bad
Current thinking about Alzheimer's disease is that neuronal cell death in the brain is to blame for the cognitive havoc caused by the disease.
Neurons that fire together, don't always wire together
As the adage goes 'neurons that fire together, wire together,' but a new paper published today in Neuron demonstrates that, in addition to response similarity, projection target also constrains local connectivity.
Scientists accidentally reprogram mature mouse GABA neurons into dopaminergic-like neurons
Attempting to make dopamine-producing neurons out of glial cells in mouse brains, a group of researchers instead converted mature inhibitory neurons into dopaminergic cells.
More Neurons News and Neurons Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Accessing Better Health
Essential health care is a right, not a privilege ... or is it? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can give everyone access to a healthier way of life, despite who you are or where you live. Guests include physician Raj Panjabi, former NYC health commissioner Mary Bassett, researcher Michael Hendryx, and neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#544 Prosperity Without Growth
The societies we live in are organised around growth, objects, and driving forward a constantly expanding economy as benchmarks of success and prosperity. But this growing consumption at all costs is at odds with our understanding of what our planet can support. How do we lower the environmental impact of economic activity? How do we redefine success and prosperity separate from GDP, which politicians and governments have focused on for decades? We speak with ecological economist Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Propserity, and author of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab