Reviews & Analysis

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  • Despite the declining incidence of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, prion diseases remain a threat to public health. In this Review, Suvankar Pal and colleagues provide an up-to-date overview of the transmission of prion diseases in human populations and argue that CJD surveillance is still vital.

    • Neil Watson
    • Jean-Philippe Brandel
    • Suvankar Pal
    Review Article
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is presumed to be associated with a clinical condition termed traumatic encephalopathy syndrome (TES). A new set of research diagnostic criteria for TES might be an improvement over previous guidelines, but many questions surrounding the putative link between head impacts, CTE neuropathology and neurobehavioural symptoms remain unanswered.

    • C. Munro Cullum
    • Christian LoBue
    News & Views
  • The failure to identify disease-modifying therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could relate to the prevailing motor neuron-centric view of this neurodegenerative disorder. This Review considers the evidence for involvement of non-neuronal cells — in particular, microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes — in ALS pathogenesis.

    • Björn F. Vahsen
    • Elizabeth Gray
    • Martin R. Turner
    Review Article
  • In this Review, Berg et al. summarize current understanding of prodromal Parkinson disease and consider the prodrome in the context of the clinical and pathological heterogeneity of the disease. They explore the possibility that prodromal Parkinson disease can be classified into subtypes.

    • Daniela Berg
    • Per Borghammer
    • Ronald B. Postuma
    Review Article
  • Biomarkers that predict conversion from isolated REM sleep behaviour disorder to Parkinson disease are urgently needed. A new study finds that detection of misfolded α-synuclein in the cerebrospinal fluid is a good marker of conversion risk, but an inability to predict the timeline of progression might limit its utility.

    • Sandrina Weber
    • Brit Mollenhauer
    News & Views
  • In this Review, Wei and Goadsby discuss the pathophysiology of cluster headache, the treatments available and their mechanisms, and the insights being provided by results from trials of emerging treatments, which indicate mechanistic differences between episodic and chronic cluster headache.

    • Diana Y. Wei
    • Peter J. Goadsby
    Review Article
  • Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is the most abundant apolipoprotein in the brain, where it is primarily expressed and secreted by astrocytes and microglia. APOE seems to exert immunomodulatory effects in an isoform-dependent way, and a new study indicates that the APOE isoform dictates the glycosylation state and secretion of this apolipoprotein.

    • Philip Hasel
    • Shane A. Liddelow
    News & Views
  • In this Review, the authors provide an overview of the evidence for daily, multi-day and yearly cycles in epileptic brain activity. They also discuss advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying these cycles and the potential clinical applications of this knowledge.

    • Philippa J. Karoly
    • Vikram R. Rao
    • Maxime O. Baud
    Review Article
  • Microglia are the first immune cells to encounter a developing primary brain tumour and have both tumour-supporting and antitumour effects. Here, Keane et al. consider the emerging evidence indicating that tumour-associated macrophages and microglia influence tumour initiation and progression as well as responses to therapy.

    • Lily Keane
    • Mathilde Cheray
    • Bertrand Joseph
    Review Article
  • Impairments in prospective memory — that is, memory for future intentions, such as remembering to take medications — are observed in many neurological disorders. Henry reviews the manifestations and neural bases of prospective memory deficits and provides algorithms to guide evaluation and treatment.

    • Julie D. Henry
    Review Article
  • In this Perspective, the authors discuss the steps necessary to achieve predictive modelling of neurological diseases with human induced pluripotent stem cells, including applications to diagnosis and prognosis in the context of a precision medicine paradigm.

    • Pia Rivetti di Val Cervo
    • Dario Besusso
    • Elena Cattaneo
  • A recent report in Nature Cancer proposes that glioblastoma can be stratified into four functional subgroups on the basis of pathway inference from single-cell or bulk gene expression data. The analysis disclosed a pathway-based subgroup of glioblastoma that depends on oxidative phosphorylation and could potentially be targeted with mitochondrial metabolism inhibitors.

    • Tobias Weiss
    • Michael Weller
    News & Views
  • A recent study reports an improvement in migraine symptoms during a COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands. The findings suggest that lifestyle changes can substantially alter the course of migraine, opening the door for greater use of behavioural interventions alongside existing pharmacological therapies.

    • Licia Grazzi
    • Paul Rizzoli
    News & Views
  • Assessment of the long-term effectiveness of disease-modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis is plagued by methodological issues, but statistical methods continue to evolve. Use of a novel approach has highlighted the importance of accounting for cumulative exposure to disease-modifying therapies when assessing the long-term effects of treatment on disability accumulation.

    • Maria Trojano
    • Pietro Iaffaldano
    News & Views
  • In this Review, the authors discuss the unique challenges involved in performing genetic testing for primary mitochondrial diseases and consider the value of advanced approaches such as long-read sequencing, RNA sequencing and the interpretation of transfer RNA variants.

    • William L. Macken
    • Jana Vandrovcova
    • Robert D. S. Pitceathly
    Review Article
  • Biomarkers of epileptogenesis would enable identification of individuals who are risk of developing epilepsy after an insult or as a result of a genetic defect. In this article, Simonato et al. review progress towards such biomarkers and set out a five-phase roadmap to facilitate their development.

    • Michele Simonato
    • Denes V. Agoston
    • Karen S. Wilcox
    Review Article
  • Intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) is a complication of preterm birth associated with neurodevelopmental sequelae. Here, Ballabh and de Vries review the mechanisms underlying IVH-induced white matter injury, focusing on its effects on oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, and discuss promising novel treatments for IVH-induced white matter injury.

    • Praveen Ballabh
    • Linda S. de Vries
    Review Article
  • New tools are being developed for the standardization and digitization of clinical data from patients with multiple sclerosis. In this Perspective, D’Souza and colleagues address the multifaceted impact of these tools on patient care and highlight the challenges and opportunities they create.

    • Marcus D’Souza
    • Athina Papadopoulou
    • Ludwig Kappos