14 August 2019
Vol 11, Issue 505

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Feeding Starving Synapses. Loss of hippocampal synapses (pictured) is a prominent pathological change in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and is believed to contribute to memory impairments. Using postmortem hippocampal brain tissue samples from patients with AD and an AD mouse model, Tian and colleagues now decipher a mechanism for hippocampal synapse loss in AD. They show that the pathogenic peptide β-amyloid binds to the receptor for the hunger hormone ghrelin (GHSR1α) and blocks its activity. This inhibition impaired dopamine receptor signaling, causing synaptic loss and memory impairments in mice. Concomitant activation of both the dopamine receptor and GHSR1α rescued synaptic function and improved cognition in AD mice. [CREDIT: KTSDESIGN/GETTY IMAGES]