The NLPR3 inflammasome and the inflammatory response it triggers play a critical role in the emergence of tau pathology.
Researchers discovered increased inflammatory activity in a subgroup of patients with frontotemporal dementia. The increased inflammation was indicated by elevated levels of cytokines known to increase inflammatory response and decreased levels of IL-10, which reduces inflammation. The inflammation was associated with Parkinsonism's symptoms and rapid cognitive and functional decline. The study also revealed patients with FTD are less likely to develop cancer.
Researchers have identified the location of dysfunctional brain networks that lead to impaired sentence production and word-finding in primary progressive aphasia (PPA). PPA can occur in those with neurodegenerative diseases, such as frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Mapping the networks allows clinicians to apply non-invasive brain stimulation to potentially improve speech in those with PPA.
A microscopy study revealed tau controls Fyn clustering in dendrites. The findings shed new light on how certain forms of dementia may occur.
Moral emotions are significantly more impaired than emotions without moral content in those with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). By contrast, those with Alzheimer's disease exhibit similar performance in both moral and extra-moral emotions as healthy subjects. The findings provide a novel biomarker for the diagnosis of FTD.
Researchers have engineered a vaccine using virus-like particles that target Tau tangles in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Following the administration of the vaccine, the mice developed antibodies that cleared tau proteins, with the response lasting for a month. The mice also showed improvements in memory based tests and had less brain shrinkage than their peers who did not receive the vaccine. This suggests the vaccine prevented apoptosis. Researchers hope to move the vaccine to human clinical trials in the future.
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.
Inducing gamma oscillations with visual stimulation via a process known as gamma entrainment using sensory stimuli, or GENUS, was shown to reduce amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau in mouse models of dementia. Providing GENUS daily during the early stages of neurodegeneration helps preserve neural and synaptic density across multiple brain areas and improves cognitive performance for learning and spatial memory tasks.
Researchers have identified five different subtypes of the sleep disorder insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep and early morning awakening. The study reports insomnia subtypes may be identified by examining personality traits of sufferers.