Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is related to many neurological disorders, and can be caused by oxidative stress to cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) composing the BBB. The authors of the paper investigated the protective effects of the total saponins in the leaves of Panax notoginseng (LPNS) on oxidative-stress-induced damage in a mouse cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line.
Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.
E-cigarettes are often considered a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. This team of high school authors investigated the impact of common e-cigarette compounds on C. elegans, and found a number of harmful effects ultimately resulting in injury and neuronal damage.
Control of voluntary and involuntary movements is one of the most important aspects of human neurological function, but the mechanisms of motor control are not completely understood. In this study, the authors use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate a portion of the motor cortex while subjects performed either discrete (e.g. throwing) or rhythmic (e.g. walking) movements. By recording electrical activity in the muscles during this process, the authors showed that motor evoked potentials (MEPs) measured in the muscles during TMS stimulation are larger in amplitude for discrete movements than for rhythmic movements. Interestingly, they also found that MEPs during transitions between rhythmic and discrete movements were nearly identical and larger in amplitude than those recorded during either rhythmic or discrete movements. This research provides important insights into the mechanisms of neurological control of movement and will serve as the foundation for future studies to learn more about temporal variability in neural activity during different movement types.
Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are both known to play a role in the occurrence and severity of seizures. This study tested effects of oxidative stress from seizures by evaluating the longevity, egg-laying, and electroshock resilience of C. elegans. Results revealed that oxidative stress and neuroinflammation diminish longevity and reproductivity while also increasing recovery time after seizures in C. elegans. This research can help lead to future studies and may also lead to finding new therapeutics for epilepsy.
Here, seeking to better understand the roles of glycans in the receptors of active sites of neuronal cells, the authors used molecular dynamics simulations to to uncover the dynamic nature of N-glycans on membrane proteins. The authors suggest the study of theinteractions of these membrane poreins could provide future potential therapeutic targets to treat mental diseases.
The degeneration of nerve cells in the brain can lead to pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested that neurons in humans may regenerate. In this study, the effect of different doses of caffeine on regeneration was explored in the planeria model. Caffeine has been shown to enhance dopamine production, and dopamine is found in high concentrations in regenerating planeria tissues. Higher doses of caffeine accelerated planeria regeneration following decapitation, indicating a potential role for caffeine as a treatment to stimulate regeneration.
In an extensive study of gene mutations, and their resulting effect on protein-protein interactions, Desai and Stork found that HTT-PRPF40B-MECP2 interactions are weakened with progression of Lopes-Maciel-Rodan syndrome.
Although no comprehensive characterization of schizophrenia exists, there is a general consensus that patients have electrical dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. The authors designed a novel piezoelectric silk-based implant and optimized electrical output through the addition of conductive materials zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminum nitride (AlN). With further research and compatibility studies, this implant could rectify electrical misfiring in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.