Most of us will be familiar with the sort of stress that leads to sleepless nights. In new research on mice, scientists have now identified the brain circuit involved in such experiences; moreover, this part of the brain also seems to be linked to a stress-induced weakening of the immune system.
Immune cells play an unexpected role in fine-tuning the brain’s neural circuits, according to research published in September, 2020 in Neuron. The immune cells that reside there, known as microglia, not only protect the brain from infection and inflammation, they also help physically sculpt circuits in the developing brain. The new work demonstrates that microglia also direct neurons to modify their own connectivity in response to sensory cues.
The BRAIN Initiative® Investigators Meeting convenes BRAIN Initiative awardees, staff, and leadership from the contributing federal agencies (NIH, NSF, DARPA, IARPA, and FDA), plus representatives and investigators from participating non-federal organizations, and members of the media, public, and Congress. The purpose of this open meeting is to provide a forum for discussing exciting scientific developments and potential new directions, and to identify areas for collaboration and research coordination.