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    ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) consists of a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by behavioural and executive impairment, language disorders and motor dysfunction. About 20-30 % of cases are inherited in a dominant manner. Mutations in the microtubule-associated protein tau gene (MAPT) cause frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17T). Here we report a novel MAPT mutation (K298E) in exon 10 in a patient with FTDP-17T. Neuropathological studies of post-mortem brain showed widespread neuronal loss and gliosis and abundant deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau in neurons and glia. Molecular studies demonstrated that the K298E mutation affects both protein function and alternative mRNA splicing. Fibroblasts from a skin biopsy of the proband taken at post-mortem were directly induced into neurons (iNs) and expressed both 3-repeat and 4-repeat tau isoforms. As well as contributing new knowledge on MAPT mutations in FTDP-17T, this is the first example of the successful generation of iNs from skin cells retrieved post-mortem.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Acta Neuropathologica
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    ABSTRACT: A severe complication of spinal cord injury is loss of bladder function (neurogenic bladder), which is characterized by loss of bladder sensation and voluntary control of micturition (urination), and spontaneous hyperreflexive voiding against a closed sphincter (detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia). A sacral anterior root stimulator at low frequency can drive volitional bladder voiding, but surgical rhizotomy of the lumbosacral dorsal roots is needed to prevent spontaneous voiding and dyssynergia. However, rhizotomy is irreversible and eliminates sexual function, and the stimulator gives no information on bladder fullness. We designed a closed-loop neuroprosthetic interface that measures bladder fullness and prevents spontaneous voiding episodes without the need for dorsal rhizotomy in a rat model. To obtain bladder sensory information, we implanted teased dorsal roots (rootlets) within the rat vertebral column into microchannel electrodes, which provided signal amplification and noise suppression. As long as they were attached to the spinal cord, these rootlets survived for up to 3 months and contained axons and blood vessels. Electrophysiological recordings showed that half of the rootlets propagated action potentials, with firing frequency correlated to bladder fullness. When the bladder became full enough to initiate spontaneous voiding, high-frequency/amplitude sensory activity was detected. Voiding was abolished using a high-frequency depolarizing block to the ventral roots. A ventral root stimulator initiated bladder emptying at low frequency and prevented unwanted contraction at high frequency. These data suggest that sensory information from the dorsal root together with a ventral root stimulator could form the basis for a closed-loop bladder neuroprosthetic.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Science translational medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Pathological aggregation of alpha-synuclein as Lewy-bodies and neurites is a hallmark of a group of neurodegenerative disorders named alpha-synucleinopathies. It is becoming apparent that alpha-synuclein facilitates presynaptic neuronal function in the brain, and events leading to its aggregation produce marked disruption of neurotransmitter release mechanism. We discuss here the literature related to the function of alpha-synuclein at the neuronal synapse in synucleinopathies brains and corresponding animal models.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · CNS & neurological disorders drug targets
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