Down on the list of important issues related to Covid-19 is the fact that doing research, for some disciplines anyway, has become rather difficult if not altogether impossible. This is certainly the case for a lot of lab-based research, since all facilities are off limits now, as is human contact. I know that quite a few PhD students will feel stranded at the moment, and that steps have been taken to either stop or significantly alter the way important drug trials are being carried out.
On the flip side, there is a deluge of interest in looking at research that helps right now, doing things that are related, directly, indirectly, to the virus and how it has changed our lives. We are also trying something out that we hope will bring some benefit (now and beyond this crisis). We’ll see.
In other news, we just had an article accepted in the International Journal of Neuroscience.
Title: CSF a-synuclein correlates with CSF neurogranin in late-life depression
Major depressive disorder (MDD) in late life is linked to increased risk of subsequent dementia, but it is still unclear exactly what pathophysiological mechanisms underpin this link. A potential mechanism related to elevated risk of dementia in MDD is increased levels of alpha-synuclein (a-Syn), a protein found in presynaptic neuronal terminals. In this study, we examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of a-Syn in conjunction with biomarkers of neurodegeneration (amyloid beta 42, total and phospho tau) and synaptic dysfunction (neurogranin), and measures of memory ability, in 27 cognitively intact older individuals with MDD and 19 controls. Our results show that CSF a-Syn levels did not significantly differ across depressed and control participants, but a-Syn was directly associated with neurogranin levels, and indirectly linked to poorer memory ability. All in all, we found that a-Syn may be implicated in the association between late life MDD and synaptic dysfunction, although further research is needed to confirm these results.
UPDATE: Just as I was typing this, the article came out. You can find it here.