Here is a selection of the most-read research stories in the EARA News Digest this year:
In January, EARA member the University of Zurich, Switzerland, was involved in a study in rats that showed that a nasal antibody spray, delivered to the brain, could heal damage from a stroke.
In the same month, an asthma drug was found to help mice retrieve ‘lost’ memories by a team at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, which may provide insights into how to restore memories in people with Alzheimer’s.
Scientists at Grenoble Alpes University, France, used gene editing to study the key stages of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite that commonly infects cats. The preliminary research, from April, meant that the parasite did not need to be studied inside cats, which would have otherwise been killed.
A Q&A in May with neuroscientist Prof John Cryan, at APC Microbiome Ireland, in the University of Cork, explained how gut bacteria can influence the behaviour and emotions of mice. Then, in October, APC published a study showing that by transplanting gut bacteria from Alzheimer’s patients, memory impairments, linked to Alzheimer’s, could be transferred to healthy rats.
In June, one of the many drugs that were approved for human use this year was the ‘blockbuster’ fezolinetant, for treating hot flashes during menopause, and developed from earlier tests in animals like mice and rabbits.
While in November, in a widely publicised breakthrough, a Parkinson’s patient whose disease had left him unable to walk, was treated with a nerve-stimulating implant by researchers at the University of Lausanne and EPFL, both Switzerland. The therapy was only possible thanks to studies that tested the implant in monkeys with movement difficulties.