About this Research Topic
Neuroimmune pathways are critical to the maintenance of brain homeostasis in health and disease. Contrary to earlier understanding, neuroinflammation is not simply a secondary consequence of the various neuropathologies associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, but rather a fundamental driver of disease progression. Indeed, aging itself can cause changes in these pathways that are thought to contribute to cognitive decline in elderly populations. These findings are underscored by the discovery in GWAS studies of numerous immune-associated genetic variants than can modify dementia risk. Similarly, studies have shown that one of the most neuroprotective lifestyle factors we know of, physical exercise, acts at least in part via activation of anti-inflammatory signaling within the brain.
Some of the most promising disease-modifying interventions against dementia fall into the broad category of immune modulators. However, the involvement of myriad cellular and molecular constituents, rapidly fluctuating temporal dynamics, and interactions with the background environmental and genetic context of a given individual make for a challenging treatment development strategy. In order to realize the full potential of this therapeutic class, a more fine-grained understanding of the neuroimmune environment in both healthy aging and disease is warranted. Recent work in this direction has included advances made possible by next generation sequencing technologies and powerful single cell analysis tools.
For this Research Topic, we welcome original research and reviews focusing on harnessing immune pathways within the brain to help preserve cognitive and non-cognitive changes associated with dementia. Topics covered include but are not limited to:
• Clinical or preclinical trials of immune modulating therapeutic strategies
• Subtyping of clinical populations based on immune biomarkers
• Sex differences in neuroimmunity in health and disease
• Cognitive and behavioral impacts of neuroimmune dysfunction
• Characterization of glial activation states across lifespan and in dementia
• Immune-modulating neurotransmitter systems in health and dementia
• Potential physiological substrates of cognitive reserve in the context of neuroimmune systems
• Crosstalk of peripheral and central immunity in brain aging and dementia
Keywords: Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Aging, Neuroinflammation, Cognitive Reserve
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.