An overview of key publications, with concise summaries and reflections by the authors.
Publication in eBioMedicine, 2024
MiniSWINE: a minipig model of demyelinating brain diseases
Researchers developed a new way to research inflammatory demyelinating diseases using minipigs. Their method is called miniSWINE: Minipig Stereotactic White-matter Injection using Navigation by Electromagnetism. Their method successfully models the changes observed in demyelinating and remyelinating lesions in human patients' brain. It can thus help to develop better diagnostic tools and treatments for diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Publication in Nature Communications, 2024
Changes in synapses related to protein 43 (GAP-43) speed up the spread of tau in Alzheimer’s disease
A combined neuroimaging and biofluid biomarker study investigated whether synaptic changes are associated with accelerated tau spreading in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). They found that higher levels of the presynaptic protein GAP-43 speed up the spread of tau in AD. These findings are relevant for developing treatments to slow down the progression of the disease.
Publication in Neuron, 2024
Replacing lost neurons: Influence of dysfunctional mitochondria on direct neuronal reprogramming uncovered
Mitochondria account for essential cellular processes – from energy production (ATP) to nucleotide metabolism. Dysfunction of mitochondria can lead to neurological disorders and contribute to developing diseases associated with aging. Researchers have now uncovered the role of dysfunctional mitochondria in direct neuronal reprogramming.
Publication in Nature Medicine, 2023
Greater plasticity than expected: Astrocytes proliferate and acquire neural stem cell properties after brain injury
Glial cells play an important role in brain injuries; they can support brain function and react to the injury. Researchers found that astrocytes, a specific type of glial cells, proliferate and acquire neural stem cell properties after brain injury.
Publication in Science Translational Medicine, 2023
A new therapeutic approach for atherosclerosis: the role of CXCR4 & microRNA
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 in vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells has a protective function for vessels. Researchers found a microRNA molecule that can regulate CXCR4, offering a promising starting point for new therapies.
Publication in Neurology, 2023
Parkinson’s patients can benefit from a change of treatment when treatment options are exhausted
As Parkinson's progresses, more invasive therapies are used – for example, deep brain stimulation or pump therapies. When these no longer yield results, physicians often conclude that treatment options are exhausted. However, new research shows that such patients can still benefit from a change in treatment.
Publication in Annals of Neurology, 2023
A genetic risk variant for multiple sclerosis severity is associated with brain atrophy
In a recent large study, researchers found two genes associated with MS disease progression. A new study now shows that one of these genes is associated with a loss of neurons and connections between neurons: people with this gene experienced 28% more brain shrinkage than those without it.
Publication in The Lancet, 2023
The effect of antihypertensive drugs on small vessel disease
Results from a clinical trial show that different blood pressure medications have differential effects on the microvascular function in people with small vessel disease. The researchers found no differences for patients with sporadic small vessel disease but did find that two specific drugs resulted in improved function of cerebral blood vessels in patients diagnosed with CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) when compared to another antihypertensive drug.
Publication in The Lancet, 2023
Decoding PET signals in brain tumors at the cellular level
A new method makes the signals of radioactive tracers in cells in the brain visible using positron emission tomography (PET). The method and its results are of great importance for the diagnosis and therapy development of brain tumors as well as for neurological diseases in general.
Publication in Nature Metabolism, 2023
Protecting nerve cells from damage in MS: The role of Mitochondria
Inflammation in the central nervous system can impair the function of neuronal mitochondria, the energy-producing components within nerve cells, which contributes to axon degeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers present a new potential target for therapeutic interventions to protect nerve cells in MS: the TCA cycle.
Publication in Molecular Psychiatry, 2023
Regional tau aggregation is the most significant predictor of neuroinflammation.
Understanding how amyloid and tau contribute to neuroinflammation provides valuable insights into neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. Researchers show that regional tau accumulation is the strongest predictor of neuroinflammation in primary tauopathies and AD.