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.
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.
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...
Yu et al. show that the ligand-binding domain of ionotropic glutamate receptors has structural features on its surface that guide the agonist glutamate to its binding site. This phenomenon serves to accelerate receptor activation.
Fournier, Mueller et al. show that visual cortex in turtles may encode positions in the visual field despite the poor spatial selectivity of its receptive fields and the absence of fine retinotopic mapping of thalamocortical projections.
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...
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.
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.
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.