General Neurology

Dalila G. Ordonez, Michael K. Lee, Mel B. Feany December 14, 2017

The synaptic protein α-synuclein has been strongly implicated in neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. Using a new Drosophila α-synucleinopathy model, Ordonez et al. show that α-synuclein interacts with spectrin to destabilize the actin cytoskeleton and induce mitochondrial dysfunction.

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Maureen E. Stabio, Shai Sabbah, Lauren E. Quattrochi, Marissa C. Ilardi, P. Michelle Fogerson, Megan L. Leyrer, Jordan M. Renna, Min Tae Kim, Inkyu Kim, Matthew Schiel, Kevin L. Briggman, David M. Berson December 14, 2017

Stabio et al. describe a novel type of output neuron of mouse retina that exhibits both direct, melanopsin-based photosensitivity and center-surround chromatic opponency generated by amacrine-cell inhibition. Their signals are routed toward visual cortex, where they may support color perception.

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Ueli Rutishauser, Tyson Aflalo, Emily R. Rosario, Nader Pouratian, Richard A. Andersen December 14, 2017

Rutishauser, Aflalo, et al. studied the role of human posterior parietal cortex in declarative memory retrieval. They found neurons that encode memory-based familiarity and confidence for decisions in an action-independent manner, thereby revealing a role for the posterior parietal cortex in translating memories into choices.… Read More...

Randolph F. Helfrich, Bryce A. Mander, William J. Jagust, Robert T. Knight, Matthew P. Walker December 14, 2017

Helfrich et al. demonstrate that the precise coupling between sleeping brainwaves, called slow waves and spindles, supports memory retention. However, this brainwave coupling during sleep is impaired in older adults due to loss of tissue in the medial frontal lobe, resulting in next-day forgetting.… Read More...

Pierre Le Merre, Vahid Esmaeili, Eloïse Charrière, Katia Galan, Paul-A. Salin, Carl C.H. Petersen, Sylvain Crochet December 14, 2017

Le Merre et al. investigate a whisker-dependent detection task, revealing that learning is accompanied by development of fast sensory processing in medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus, and that neuronal activity in these brain regions is required for task execution.

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Tracy L. Hagemann, Berit Powers, Curt Mazur, Aneeza Kim, Steven Wheeler, Gene Hung, Eric Swayze, Albee Messing December 11, 2017

Abstract

Objective: Alexander disease is a fatal leukodystrophy caused by autosomal dominant gain-of-function mutations in the gene for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an intermediate filament protein primarily expressed in astrocytes of the central nervous system. A key feature of pathogenesis is over-expression and accumulation of GFAP, with formation of characteristic cytoplasmic aggregates known as Rosenthal fibers.

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Brendan P. Lucey, Terry J. Hicks, Jennifer S. McLeland, Cristina D. Toedebusch, Jill Boyd, Donald L. Elbert, Bruce W. Patterson, Jack Baty, John C. Morris, Vitaliy Ovod, Kwasi G. Mawuenyega, Randall J. Bateman December 9, 2017

Abstract

Sleep disturbances are associated with future risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Disrupted sleep increases soluble amyloid-β, suggesting a mechanism for sleep disturbances to increase Alzheimer’s disease risk. We tested this response in humans using indwelling lumbar catheters to serially sample cerebrospinal fluid while participants were sleep-deprived, treated with sodium oxybate, or allowed to sleep normally.

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