Special Interest Group 2021: Movement Disorders (recording)

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Description: This year's Movement Disorders Special Interest Group session will focus on the non-neuronal aspects of neurodegeneration in movement disorders. While neuronal loss is the primary focus of most research in neurodegeneration, studies in these diseases demonstrate that neuron-glial interactions may have a key role in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes contribute to the progressive neuropathological abnormalities manifested in these movement disorders through various mechanisms, including neuro-inflammation and excitotoxicity. These mechanisms have been uncovered using various systems; including cells isolated from human tissue for analysis of gene expression, human induced pluripotent stem cells, rodent primary glial cell culture models expressing the various disease causing proteins, and mouse models genetically or virally expressing the abnormal proteins. These studies have revealed these cells to play roles in the progression of the neuropathology in these diseases, the propagation of the mutated protein from one cell or one brain region to another or abnormal neuroinflammatory responses. Thus, the contribution of astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes to the phenotypes manifested in these diseases is an important growing area of research and understanding their contribution to neurodegeneration may provide new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

Chair: Anne-Marie Wills, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Co-Chair: Michelle Gray, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham


  • Following this session participants will have a better understanding of the contribution of glia and microglia to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, HD and tauopathies, the influence of neuroinflammation on these diseases; synuclein and tau pathology as they relate to non-neuronal cell types; potential novel therapeutic targets for diseases


Targeting Immune Dysfunction and Inflammation in Parkinson’s Disease


Malu Gamez Tansey, PhD

University of Florida

Monogenic Hub of the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2): The 500 Genomes Pilot Project

Oral Presenter:

Niccolo Mencacci, MD, PhD

Northwestern University

Patterns of Cortical Tau Pathology in LBD and PSP: A Multi-center Digital Histology Study

Oral Presenter:

David Coughlin, MD, MTR

University of California San Diego

Formation and Popagation of Distinct Alpha-Synuclein Strains


Joel Watts, PhD

Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Toronto

Effect of Hydrogen Sulfide on Alpha-Synuclein Aggregation

Oral Presenter:

Tritia Yamasaki, MD, PhD

University of Kentucky

Target Audience

ANA2021 Attendees

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