The Mechanism of Zika Virus Infection Including the Role of Nonstructural Proteins in the Pathogenesis of Microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Heather Villarreal Introduction. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a growing epidemic affecting several countries, whose effects include severe neurological damage such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly. The virus infects peripheral dendritic tissue and transports axonally to neurons, especially neuroprogenitor cells, where it causes down-regulation of growth and development genes, apoptosis, and overall atrophy of developing neural […]

Restoring Cognition in Alzheimer’s Disease with hiPSC-derived Cholinergic Neuron Transplantation

Jonathon Cummock  Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, debilitating neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multifaceted decline in cognitive and behavioral functions1, 11. Key neuronal pathology includes amyloid-beta plaques and/or neurofibrillary tangles1, 11. A well-known feature of AD is the marked reduction and death of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain with subsequent reduction in acetylcholine […]

Histone Modification in Alcoholism: Peripheral to Central Processes

Esra Gumuser Introduction. Alcohol Use Disorder affects the United States both economically, with excessive binge drinking costing the U.S. $249 billion in 2010 alone1, and in mortality, being responsible for over 30,000 deaths in the 20142.  Long-term alcohol use is known to affect nearly every organ system primarily through epigenetic remodeling entailing histone modifications that […]

Restoring Cognition in Alzheimer’s Disease with hiPSC-derived Cholinergic Neuron Transplantation

Jonathon Cummock  Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, debilitating neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multifaceted decline in cognitive and behavioral functions1, 11. Key neuronal pathology includes amyloid-beta plaques and/or neurofibrillary tangles1, 11. A well-known feature of AD is the marked reduction and death of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain with subsequent reduction in acetylcholine […]

Amyloid Beta Immunotherapy in the Prevention and Clearance of Plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease

Christina Phan Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a type of dementia that typically occurs in adults older than 65 years of age,characterized symptomatically with the progressive loss of cognitive function and psychiatric manifestations. The depositions of plaques consisting of insoluble amyloid beta (AB) fibrils, are one of the major pathological hallmarks of AD, causing neuronal […]

Dysregulation of DNA Methylation Profiles in Neural Stem Cells: A Consequence of Ethanol Exposure

Sasha Burrowes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are leading non-genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disabilities in the US and worldwide1. Acting as a teratogen, ethanol has been shown to drastically change the developmental course of maturing neural stem cells in treated mouse NSCs via alterations in DNA methylation, histone modifications, and […]

The Mechanism of Antisense Oligonucleotides as a Therapeutic Option for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Arko Ghosh  Introduction: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by lower motor neuron loss and muscle denervation, which can result in quadriplegia, respiratory failure and ultimately death[1,2]. SMA has an incidence of approximately 1 in 6,000 to 1 in 10,000, and as such, is one of the most common […]

Targeting Tau: The future of defeating Alzheimer’s Disease?

Nitin Agrawal Introduction. Alzheimer’s Disease is progressive neurodegeneration that is associated with beta-amyloid protein plaques and tau tangle accumulations1. Historically, the amyloid hypothesis, which states that the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques causes direct synaptic damage leading to cell death with brain atrophy, has been touted as the main explanation for Alzheimer’s Disease pathophysiology2,3. However, recently, […]

Intestinal Dysbiosis in ASD

Randy Volkmer II Introduction.  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a multifactorial disease that displays varying degrees of behavioral, social, and/or intellectual incapacity in the individual that it affects1.  Causes of ASD have been widely speculated, but recent discovery of differences in the intestinal microbiome of individuals with ASD and individuals without ASD has led to […]

The Role of Tau as a Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s disease

Jahnavi Udaikumar Introduction. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, affects nearly 45 million people worldwide with increasing progression despite its unclear etiology.1 Discovered in 1906, AD is a neurodegenerative disorder that arises from accumulations of amyloid-β plaques and tau tangles, eventually resulting in blocked cell-to-cell communication at neuronal synapses and post-translational modifications. […]