Researchers have developed a light-sensitive switch that regulates a protein implicated in synaptic plasticity. The researchers believe the photoswitch could help shed light on learning, memory and neurodegeneration.
In response to injury, microglia cross the spinal boundary from the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system. While in the PNS, microglia provide the function of clearing cellular debris at the point of injury, then return to the CNS in an altered state. Researchers propose this could account for some damage associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
Bilirubin, a bile pigment most commonly associated with jaundice in newborns, appears to have neuroprotective properties. A new study in mice reveals bilirubin may protect the brain against oxidative stress.