Glial function in CNS disorders: are astrocytes the real stars?

Glial function in CNS disorders: are astrocytes the real stars?
Theme: Other neurological disorders

Tuesday 25th April, 15:30 – 17:10

Central nervous system (CNS) disorders are a global health challenge and despite decades of intense research, many disorders still do not have treatments that adequately cure them or halt their progression. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the role of glial cells in CNS function and diseases, with a particular focus on the role that microglial cells and neuroinflammation play in CNS disorders. However, it is now acknowledged that astrocytes, the most abundant cell type present in the CNS, are important in CNS development and function, ranging from synaptic development, to network function and plasticity through to behavioural modulation.  Furthermore, evidence is accumulating revealing that astrocytes play key roles in the initiation and progression of CNS disorders.  This symposium brings together leading researchers to highlight the significant role that astrocytes have in CNS disorders and how increasing our understanding of this may lead to the development of novel therapeutics.

  • Veronique Miron, University of Edinburgh, UK: Astrocyte-oligodendrocyte interaction regulates central nervous system remyelination
  • Matthew Broadhead, University of St Andrews, UK: Selective Vulnerability of Tripartite Synapses in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (co-chair)
  • Disha Shah, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium: Astrocytic calcium dysfunction at the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease
  • Trevor Bushell, University of Strathclyde, UK: Astrocytes and major depressive disorder: a target for novel treatments? (co-chair)

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