Vimentin, a cellular filament, helps neural stem cells to clear damaged and clumped proteins, assisting in neurogenesis.
Increased potassium currents were responsible for hyperactivity of CA3 neurons. When exposed to potassium channel blockers, the hyperactivity disappeared. However, when exposed to lithium, the drug not only reversed hyperactivity but reduced potassium currents at the same time. The findings strengthen the case that potassium currents play a role in bipolar disorder.
Donepezil, a drug routinely administered to slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease, shows promise in treating damage caused to the brain by adolescent alcohol exposure. The drug reverses neuroinflammation and neuron damage in rats exposed to alcohol during adolescence.
Enhanced reactivation of negative memory engrams may be an important cellular mechanism behind the cognitive symptoms of depression.
Participating in exercise improved synaptic pruning in mouse models of autism. The study also found microglia dependant synaptic pruning is impaired by maternal inflammation, which has been previously connected to the development of ASD.
Chemically activating neurons and placing mice in stimulating environments reverses alterations and restores some neural connectivity in frontotemporal dementia. If translated into humans, the findings could help develop new treatments for fighting the effects of dementia in the elderly.
Using optogenetics to stimulate different areas of the hippocampus has the ability to enhance or suppress memories in mice. The findings could have implications for suppressing memories associated with traumatic events in PTSD, and also in enhancing cognitive ability or improving memory for those with neurodegenerative diseases, in the future.
Newly identified 'extinction neurons' in the hippocampus suppress fearful memories when activated, and allow the memories to return when deactivated. The findings may provide new treatment avenues for PTSD, phobias, and anxiety.
The findings support a continuous model of neurogenesis throughout development and adulthood.