Tauopathies are a group of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease that are characterized by the deposition of aggregates of the tau protein inside brain cells. A new study reveals that the cutting of tau by an enzyme called caspase-2 may play a critical role in the disordered brain circuit function that occurs in these diseases.
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Zhao, X., Kotilinek, L., Smith, B., Hlynialuk, C., Zahs, K., Ramsden, M., Cleary, J., & Ashe, K. (2016) Caspase-2 cleavage of tau reversibly impairs memory. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.4199
Where is the suprachiasmatic nucleus?
the suprachiasmatic nucleus is represented by a small green area within the hypothalamus (indicated by red arrow).
The suprachiasmatic nuclei are two small, paired nuclei that are found in the hypothalamus. Each suprachiasmatic nucleus only contains approximately 10,000 neurons. The nuclei rest on each side of the third ventricle, just above the optic chiasm. The location provides the rationale for........ Read more »
Colwell, C. (2011) Linking neural activity and molecular oscillations in the SCN. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(10), 553-569. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3086
I'm not gonna dwell too much on the findings reported by Lee and colleagues  talking about how "toddlers who suffer from AD [atopic dermatitis] at the age younger than 3 years are at a higher risk of developing ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] during later childhood" because science already seems to understand that there may be an important connection between early allergic disease and later offspring behavioural/........ Read more »
Lee CY, Chen MH, Jeng MJ, Hsu JW, Tsai SJ, Bai YM, Hung GY, Yen HJ, Chen TJ, & Su TP. (2016) Longitudinal association between early atopic dermatitis and subsequent attention-deficit or autistic disorder: A population-based case-control study. Medicine, 95(39). PMID: 27684861
High cholesterol might harm more than our cardiovascular systems. New research using animal models suggests that high cholesterol levels trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress on cartilage cells, causing them to die, and ultimately leading to the development of osteoarthritis.
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Farnaghi, S., Prasadam, I., Cai, G., Friis, T., Du, Z., Crawford, R., Mao, X., & Xiao, Y. (2016) Protective effects of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and statins on cholesterol-induced osteoarthritis. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201600600R
by Piter Kehoma Boll I wonder how many people can say they have a bacterium that reminds them of their childhood. Well, at least I can say that I have. When I was a boy and started to know about … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lipman, C. (1941) The Successful Revival of Nostoc commune from a Herbarium Specimen Eighty- Seven Years Old. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 68(9), 664. DOI: 10.2307/2481755
Tamaru, Y., Takani, Y., Yoshida, T., & Sakamoto, T. (2005) Crucial Role of Extracellular Polysaccharides in Desiccation and Freezing Tolerance in the Terrestrial Cyanobacterium Nostoc commune. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71(11), 7327-7333. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.71.11.7327-7333.2005
Forgetting Earth Dementia. Few words inspire greater fear in those of us who value (quasi-?) independent thought. The term ‘dementia’ encompasses various brain disorders that all share some scary traits: general decline in cognitive function, decreased ability to speak, and in later stages, being unable to take care of oneself. Unfortunately, as human lifespan increases […]... Read more »
Killin LO, Starr JM, Shiue IJ, & Russ TC. (2016) Environmental risk factors for dementia: a systematic review. BMC geriatrics, 16(1), 175. PMID: 27729011
Parihar VK, Allen BD, Caressi C, Kwok S, Chu E, Tran KK, Chmielewski NN, Giedzinski E, Acharya MM, Britten RA.... (2016) Cosmic radiation exposure and persistent cognitive dysfunction. Scientific reports, 34774. PMID: 27721383
'Thick and fast' is probably the best way that I can describe the flurry of peer-reviewed scientific papers recently appearing (see here and see here for examples) talking about how chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (also linked to the diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME) might have some important biological processes attached to it.Now we can add the findings reported by Federica Ciregia and colleagues  (open-access) to the list and their observations that "the identification of bio........ Read more »
Ciregia F, Kollipara L, Giusti L, Zahedi RP, Giacomelli C, Mazzoni MR, Giannaccini G, Scarpellini P, Urbani A, Sickmann A.... (2016) Bottom-up proteomics suggests an association between differential expression of mitochondrial proteins and chronic fatigue syndrome. Translational psychiatry, 6(9). PMID: 27676445
Today I'm once again blogging about peer-reviewed research suggesting that when it comes to the long-term effects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on a person, there is some pretty solid evidence that addressing symptoms early could "potentially avert a wide range of future adverse outcomes."The paper making such a conclusion is the one from Holly Erskine and colleagues  who conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis pertinent to this topic; also taking into accoun........ Read more »
Erskine HE, Norman RE, Ferrari AJ, Chan GC, Copeland WE, Whiteford HA, & Scott JG. (2016) Long-Term Outcomes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Conduct Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(10), 841-50. PMID: 27663939
Vitamins A and C aren't just good for your health, they affect your DNA too. Researchers have discovered how vitamins A and C act to modify the epigenetic 'memory' held by cells; insight which is significant for regenerative medicine and our ability to reprogramme cells from one identity to another.
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Hore, T., von Meyenn, F., Ravichandran, M., Bachman, M., Ficz, G., Oxley, D., Santos, F., Balasubramanian, S., Jurkowski, T., & Reik, W. (2016) Retinol and ascorbate drive erasure of epigenetic memory and enhance reprogramming to naïve pluripotency by complementary mechanisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201608679. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1608679113
"At 13 years, adolescents who had received a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) who were attending specialist CFS/ME services were more than two times more likely to be obese than adolescents in the general population."At first reading, I wasn't particularly surprised by the findings reported by Norris and colleagues  (open-access) drawing on data partly derived from everyone's favourite UK longitudinal birth cohort: ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Par........ Read more »
Norris T, Hawton K, Hamilton-Shield J, & Crawley E. (2016) Obesity in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome: an observational study. Archives of disease in childhood. PMID: 27655658
"TKD [Taekwondo] training can help children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] improve their balance."Go on."Our findings suggest that TKD can be a fun, feasible, and effective therapeutic option for balance improvement of children with ASD."So said the results of the study by Yumi Kim  (open-access) looking at whether the Korean martial art might be able to help with aspects of some of the very important movement issues that can be associated with a diagnosis of autism.B........ Read more »
Kim Y, Todd T, Fujii T, Lim JC, Vrongistinos K, & Jung T. (2016) Effects of Taekwondo intervention on balance in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, 12(4), 314-9. PMID: 27656628
Having recently mentioned the BBC headline that makes up the title of this entry in a related post (see here) I'm pleased to be finally able to bring the paper by Daniel Mackay and colleagues  (open-access) to your attention.Observing that in Scotland at least, "that season of conception is strikingly associated with the subsequent risk of special educational needs in the offspring" there are various potential implications to come from such data covering both learning (intellectual) disabilit........ Read more »
Mackay DF, Smith GC, Cooper SA, Wood R, King A, Clark DN, & Pell JP. (2016) Month of Conception and Learning Disabilities: A Record-Linkage Study of 801,592 Children. American journal of epidemiology. PMID: 27651381
High-tech prosthetics, computers that are controlled by thought, the ability to walk or even move again, these are just a few of the promises of technology. Unfortunately, while the tech is -- mostly -- up to the challenge, getting the biology side of things to cooperate has been difficult at best, but that could change. Now, scientists have created a material that could make reading biological signals, from heartbeats to brainwaves, much more sensitive.
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Giovannitti, A., Nielsen, C., Sbircea, D., Inal, S., Donahue, M., Niazi, M., Hanifi, D., Amassian, A., Malliaras, G., Rivnay, J.... (2016) N-type organic electrochemical transistors with stability in water. Nature Communications, 13066. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13066
Why did NASA put jellyfish aboard the space shuttle in the 1990s? I discuss the reasoning behind this experimentand the results.... Read more »
Spangenberg, D., Jernigan, T., McCombs, R., Lowe, B., Sampson, M., & Slusser, J. (1994) Development studies of Aurelia (Jellyfish) ephyrae which developed during the SLS-1 mission. Advances in Space Research, 14(8), 239-247. DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(94)90408-1
"Hypertension in pregnancy was associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in this population even after controlling for known confounders."So said the findings reported by Eileen Curran and colleagues  who, once again (see here), relied on "data from the Millennium Cohort Study" to produce some potentially important information about how adverse pregnancy conditions may/may not impact on offspring behaviour and development.Hypertension (a.k.a high blood pressure) during pre........ Read more »
Eileen A. Curran, Ali S. Khashan, Gerard W. O’Keeffe, & Louise C. Kenny. (2016) 35 Hypertension in pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder in a British cohort. regnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health., 153. info:/
Although being first isolated in 1947 from a sentinel rhesus monkey in forests of Uganda, until 2007 Zika Virus (ZIKV) outbreaks have been sporadic, being limited to tropical regions in Africa as well as Southeast Asia and only been associated with relative mild symptoms in about 20% of infected people. Autochthonous transmission of ZIKV outside these areas was only reported in 2007 in the Federal States of Micronesia (FSM), 2013 in French Polynesia, and in 2015 in South America, spreading to th........ Read more »
Ventura CV, Maia M, Travassos SB, Martins TT, Patriota F, Nunes ME, Agra C, Torres VL, van der Linden V, Ramos RC.... (2016) Risk Factors Associated With the Ophthalmoscopic Findings Identified in Infants With Presumed Zika Virus Congenital Infection. JAMA ophthalmology, 134(8), 912-8. PMID: 27228275
Grant A, Ponia SS, Tripathi S, Balasubramaniam V, Miorin L, Sourisseau M, Schwarz MC, Sánchez-Seco MP, Evans MJ, Best SM.... (2016) Zika Virus Targets Human STAT2 to Inhibit Type I Interferon Signaling. Cell host , 19(6), 882-90. PMID: 27212660
Teitelbaum BA, Newman TL, & Tresley DJ. (2007) Occlusive retinal vasculitis in a patient with West Nile virus. Clinical , 90(6), 463-7. PMID: 17958570
Goodfellow F, Tesla B, Simchick G, Hodge T, Zhao Q, Brindley MA, & Stice SL. (2016) Zika Virus Induced Mortality and Microcephaly in Chicken Embryos. Stem cells and development. PMID: 27627457
Miner JJ, Sene A, Richner JM, Smith AM, Santeford A, Ban N, Weger-Lucarelli J, Manzella F, Rückert C, Govero J.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection in Mice Causes Panuveitis with Shedding of Virus in Tears. Cell reports, 16(12), 3208-18. PMID: 27612415
Kim K, & Shresta S. (2016) Neuroteratogenic Viruses and Lessons for Zika Virus Models. Trends in microbiology, 24(8), 622-36. PMID: 27387029
Rossi SL, Tesh RB, Azar SR, Muruato AE, Hanley KA, Auguste AJ, Langsjoen RM, Paessler S, Vasilakis N, & Weaver SC. (2016) Characterization of a Novel Murine Model to Study Zika Virus. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 94(6), 1362-9. PMID: 27022155
Varkey JB, Shantha JG, Crozier I, Kraft CS, Lyon GM, Mehta AK, Kumar G, Smith JR, Kainulainen MH, Whitmer S.... (2015) Persistence of Ebola Virus in Ocular Fluid during Convalescence. The New England journal of medicine, 372(25), 2423-7. PMID: 25950269
Bayless NL, Greenberg RS, Swigut T, Wysocka J, & Blish CA. (2016) Zika Virus Infection Induces Cranial Neural Crest Cells to Produce Cytokines at Levels Detrimental for Neurogenesis. Cell host . PMID: 27693308
Dang J, Tiwari SK, Lichinchi G, Qin Y, Patil VS, Eroshkin AM, & Rana TM. (2016) Zika Virus Depletes Neural Progenitors in Human Cerebral Organoids through Activation of the Innate Immune Receptor TLR3. Cell stem cell, 19(2), 258-65. PMID: 27162029
Brault JB, Khou C, Basset J, Coquand L, Fraisier V, Frenkiel MP, Goud B, Manuguerra JC, Pardigon N, & Baffet AD. (2016) Comparative Analysis Between Flaviviruses Reveals Specific Neural Stem Cell Tropism for Zika Virus in the Mouse Developing Neocortex. EBioMedicine, 71-6. PMID: 27453325
Patel AK, Syeda S, & Hackam AS. (2013) Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling in retinal pigment epithelium cells. JAK-STAT, 2(4). PMID: 24416648
New research has demonstrated that a nanoscale device, called a memristor, could be used to power artificial systems that can mimic the human brain. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) exhibit learning abilities and can perform tasks which are difficult for conventional computing systems, such as pattern recognition, on-line learning and classification.
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Serb, A., Bill, J., Khiat, A., Berdan, R., Legenstein, R., & Prodromakis, T. (2016) Unsupervised learning in probabilistic neural networks with multi-state metal-oxide memristive synapses. Nature Communications, 12611. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12611
In answer to the question that titles this post on whether parental age differences at offspring conception might matter when it comes to offspring risk of autism or schizophrenia, the answer is very possibly. As the paper by Byars & Boomsma  (open-access) reports: "Our study shows that autistic and schizophrenic disorder risks tend to be higher, in more dissimilarly aged parents, relative to parents with the most similar ages." This age disparity issue has been mentioned previously in th........ Read more »
Byars SG, & Boomsma JJ. (2016) Opposite differential risks for autism and schizophrenia based on maternal age, paternal age, and parental age differences. Evolution, medicine, and public health, 2016(1), 286-98. PMID: 27637201
There are many reports of drug use leading to mental health problems, and we all know of someone having a few too many drinks to cope with a bad day. Many people who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder indulge in drugs, and vice versa. As severity of both increase, problems arise and they become more difficult to treat. But why substance involvement and psychiatric disorders often co-occur is not well understood.
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Carey, C., Agrawal, A., Bucholz, K., Hartz, S., Lynskey, M., Nelson, E., Bierut, L., & Bogdan, R. (2016) Associations between Polygenic Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Substance Involvement. Frontiers in Genetics. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00149
"Biomarker studies of PUFA [polyunsaturated fatty acid] and treatment studies of n-3 [omega-3] PUFA in bipolar disorder show promise for indicating a way forward in the study of PUFA in bipolar disorder."I don't want to labour any points raised by the review of studies published by Erika Saunders and colleagues  looking at fatty acids and bipolar disorder but there does seem to be a familiar ring to the current evidence base on how for at least 'some' cases of bipolar diso........ Read more »
Saunders EF, Ramsden CE, Sherazy MS, Gelenberg AJ, Davis JM, & Rapoport SI. (2016) Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Bipolar Disorder: A Review of Biomarker and Treatment Studies. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 27631140
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