Neurology Central

2017 in review – a note from the Editor

As we begin a new year on Neuro Central, we’re taking this opportunity to look back at some of our highlights from 2017. The past year has seen a number of leaps in the field, including a growing focus on concussion in sport, antibody breakthroughs, Alzheimer’s trials, stem cell success, and a major Huntington’s study.  In addition the Nobel Prize this year was awarded to three pioneering neuroscientists – Hall, Rosbash and Young – for their work on the genes controlling circadian rhythms: all round, 2017 was another successful, varied and promising year for our field!

Below we’ve highlighted some of the key trending topics in neurology and neuroscience from 2017, as well as our top read articles of the year – take a look and let us know your thoughts.

Alzheimer’s disease: structures and supplements

Recent years have seen increasingly more frequent breakthroughs in the neurodegeneration field, and 2017 was no exception. While it lacked the high-profile drug trial results that we saw in 2016, the last year has nonetheless seen its fair share of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) news.

The year began with the identification of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) that were found to reduce tau deposits in mouse models, with researchers stating: “This compound is the first that has been shown to reverse tau-related damage to the brain that also has the potential to be used as a therapeutic in people.”

Later in 2017, the Alzheimer’s tau protein molecular structure was revealed in a first-of-its-kind study. MRC (Cambridge, UK) researchers used cryo-electron microscopy to visualize filaments from the brain of a patient who had died with AD, making this study a breakaway from previous work, which had relied on artificial samples.

Another headline-hitting Alzheimer’s story concerned results from the European LipiDiDiet trial investigating a medical drink thought to aid mild AD and dementia. While the trial failed to meet primary endpoints, it was not without success, with the drink observed to stabilize cognitive performance and reduce brain shrinkage. While not providing a cure, the study highlights how symptoms of AD could be mitigated to an extent with dietary supplements: something certainly worth further investigation.

CTE, concussion and sport
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