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New Genetic Disorder Discovered by NDCN Team

New Genetic Disorder Discovered by NDCN Team

The family of disorders known as ataxias can impair speech, balance and coordination, and have varying levels of severity. A team led by Dr Andrea Nemeth from NDCN has identified a new member of this group of conditions which is connected to Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 5 (SCA5). SCA5 is sometimes known as ‘Lincoln ataxia,’ because it was first found in the relatives of US President Abraham Lincoln.

Paper in Nature Neuroscience: New Evidence for the Role of Hippocampal NMDA Receptors

Paper in Nature Neuroscience: New Evidence for the Role of Hippocampal NMDA Receptors

The role of hippocampal NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and NMDAR-dependant synaptic plasticity in long-term spatial memory remains unclear. Current thinking implicates hippocampal NMDARs as important in storing long-term spatial memory. However, a recent study from Bannerman et al., in Experimental Psychology, working with researchers from the Max Planck Institute and the University of Oslo, shows that hippocampal NMDARs are actually involved in the use of spatial knowledge in selecting between alternative responses. In the study, published in Nature Neuroscience, Bannerman et al. used Grin1∆DGCA1 transgenic mice, which lack NMDARs in dentate gyrus granule cells and dorsal hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells, in a series of spatial choice experiments

Paper in Neuron: Characterization of GABAergic Interneurons in the Amygdala

Previous studies have shown that cooperation of neuronal activity in the amygdala and hippocampus is crucial for emotional memory formation. Synchronization of theta frequency oscillations in the amygdala and hippocampus plays a key role in this coordination. Research suggests that GABAergic neurons are central in controlling theta frequency oscillations.