Neuroinflammation: Molecular Principles and Translational Approach August 23 - 30, 2014 Coordinator: Nicolas G. Bazan

Neuroinflammation: Molecular Principles and Translational Approach

August 23 - 30, 2014

Coordinator: Nicolas G. Bazan

LSU Center for Excellence in Neuroscience, New Orleans, USA


Scott Brady, University of Illinois, Chicago (USA)
David Brody, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis (USA)
Marianne Schultzberg, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden)
Thomas Moeller, Lundbeck Research, Paramus, USA
Michael T. Heneka, University of Bonn (Germany)
Haydee Bazan, LSU Center for Excellence in Neuroscience, New Orleans (USA)

The central nervous system is often referred to as an immunologically privileged site. While the blood–brain barrier (BBB) protects the central nervous system (CNS) from peripheral immune and inflammatory activation, the CNS is also able to induce the protective innate immune system in response to injury, including trauma, infection, stroke and neurotoxins. This acute inflammatory response is short-lived and generally beneficial in neutralizing potential threats to the CNS by minimizing cellular damage. On the other hand, a sustained chronic neuroinflammatory response can be detrimental and initiate neuronal damage, neuronal circuits impairments, astrocytic and microglia involvement and neurodegeneration via long-lasting formation and accumulation of neurotoxic proinflammatory mediators. New knowledge has revealed that macrophage lineage resident cells, microglia, perivascular macrophages and the other macrophage populations are engaged in homeostatic functions in the developing and adult nervous system. A critical reappraisal of their function is currently in progress in order to ascribe to these cells their full significance in pathophysiology of several neurological disorders and to understand how comorbid systemic disease and associated immune response impacts the nervous system and its inflammatory response.

The CNS's innate immune response involves intricate signaling circuitry and cellular networks. What was once considered an immune-privileged site is now recognized as having the ability to synthesize and release reactive molecules and pro-inflammatory mediators, as well as a capacity to respond to injury with anti-inflammatory, pro- homeostatic mechanisms. Understanding CNS immunity requires attention to the temporal relationship between the inflammatory response and injury. Acute inflammation is the immediate response that occurs at the initiation of injury. When the BBB is compromised, peripheral blood components such as polymorphonuclear leukocytes have access to the CNS. These cells play part of the defense response and when excessively deployed in the interstitial space they contribute to cell damage. When acute inflammation does not contribute to repair and then cease within a relatively short time period, inflammation becomes chronic and often pathological. Recent advances have begun to define protective, reparative inflammatory responses that set in motion resolution of neuroinflammation thus limiting or abrogating sustained damage. Several potent mediators that modulate the neuroinflammatory response, induce overall homeostasis and attenuate apoptotic neuronal damage are identified.

The Course is aimed at reaching a comprehensive understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms, experimental models, and methodological approaches to study neuroinflammation. These will include innovative strategies for emerging targets for clinical translation and pharmaceutical intervention. Moreover, the Course will be a forum where basic and clinical researchers from diverse disciplines can meet, interact, and bring cross-disciplinary insights on new basic findings to the translational stage.

The following are specific topic, which, among others, will be focus of discussion and analysis.

Neurotransmitter Regulation of Microglial Functions: The Locus Ceruleus involvement in Alzheimer Disease
In Alzheimer´s disease, several brain stem nuclei degenerate. Very early during the course of the disease, probably during the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage, the locus ceruleus, chief source of norepinephrine in the brain, is already compromized. When, where and why does this nucleus degenerate? The specific role for microglial functioning in locus ceruleus projection area and the consequences for disease progression will be a topic for discussion. Also, the function and modification of nuclear hormone receptors such as the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma and the liver X receptor in physiology and pathophysiology will be addressed. A special emphasis will be put on the fate of these receptors in neurodegeneration and their possible use as therapeutic targets in Alzheimer´s and Parkinson´s disease.

Inflammation and Axonal Degeneration: ALS and MS
Inflammatory pathways are typically activated in neurodegenerative diseases, but sites of inflammation may be a considerable distance from neuronal perikarya. How does local inflammation contribute to axonal and synaptic pathology? Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis will serve as two examples of distinct pathologies with well-established inflammatory components.

Cell Death Pathways and Neurodegeneration
Neuronal cell death is a late event in most neuropathologies and blocking cell death may not prevent progression of neurological symptoms. Reframing the consideration of cell death in the nervous system to include early stages of axonal degeneration allows a focus on an understanding of the roles played by apoptotic signaling pathways in neurodegenerative diseases and synaptic connectivity.

Control of Chronic Neuroinflammatory diseases: Traditional and Novel Alternative Approaches
Steroids and COX inhibitors have important successes but limitations for chronic use. What are the targets and what novel anti-inflammatory drugs are in the pipeline? Are there promising alternative NSAIDs? Our focus will be on the potential for Omega-3 fatty acids.

Biomarkers of Neuroinflammation
How well can imaging probes detect and monitor active neuroinflammation? What are best CSF biomarkers? Are there any consistent plasma biomarkers? How are these markers altered by CNS diseases? Can any biomarker be used as a surrogate to monitor inflammation?

Neuroinflammation and Neurodegenerative Diseases of Aging
What is the neuropathological and biochemical evidence for a bystander or causal role? We will consider the evidence that the role of innate immune activation is stage-dependent. What is inconsistent and consistent in the epidemiology of NSAIDs for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Diseases? What are the results of trials aimed at treatment and prevention? What is the best approach to limit chronic inflammation related to aging? Should we use modulatory rather than directly suppressive drugs? Can we break a cycle of chronic inflammation with intermittent use of anti-inflammatory agents that limits toxic effects? Is there any merit to the use of anti-TNFalpha or other passive immunization approaches to chronic inflammatory diseases?

Fever, Sickness Behavior, and Neuroinflammation
Immune "privilege" and immune capacity of the brain will be discussed together with cerebrospinal fluid physiology, transport mechanisms, epiplexus (Kolmer) cells, expression of cell adhesion molecules, microglia, and cytokine receptors on neurons and endocrine glands. Finally, the emerging field of behavioral dysfunction in systemic autoimmunity and inflammation will be addressed analysing the effects of these conditions on the limbic system, cognitive function and brain morphology.

The significance of docosanoid lipid mediators derived from omega-3 essential fatty acids in neuroinflammation
The identification of an endogenous lipid mediators made on demand at the onset of homeostasis disturbances, uncompensated oxidative stress and unresolved neuroinflammation will be discussed. The molecular principles that govern the production and bioactivity of Neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1) in experimental stroke, epilepsy, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases will be highlighted. The following specific aspects will be presented: targeted transcription factors; COX-2; neurotrophins as agonists for NPD1 synthesis; new molecular imaging to open the DHA lipidome; aspirin-triggered NPD1 biosynthesis in the stroke penumbra; NPD1 in the homeostatic regulation of photoreceptor cell integrity; neuroinflammation and resolution in neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition, focus will be placed on:

Microglial response to CNS Trauma: Acute and chronic cellular inflammation
Immunosuppressive effects of CNS injury: Modulation of innate and adaptive immunity
Preclinical and clinical therapeutic trials targeting inflammation following traumatic brain injury: The two-edged sword

Industry's approach to drug discovery in neuroinflammation: reproducibility and wrong statistics.
Microglia as a potential target in Huntington's disease and other pathologies.

This Glorious Globe [via Nina Reznick]

Steam Towers - This geothermal phenomena is Northern Lights adjacent and has the ability to transform the night sky into an eerie green hue.

 Underwater Rivers - These Mexican aquatic anomalies occur when dense matter sinks to the bottom of a body of water, thus creating its OWN flow.

Living Rocks - Though they appear to be nothing but stone, these are actually sea creatures found off the coast of Chile.

Morning Glory Clouds - Not even scientists can figure out what causes this wonder of the world. So, when you see one, just appreciate it for its overall awesomeness! Unreal.

Volcanic Lightning - Sometimes, when a volcano explodes, it releases a powerful amount of energy into the atmosphere. This sudden jolt can result in strong reactions that ultimately produce lightning from within an eruption!

Ok, ok, ok [via Angsten]

Art world stunned: Second ‘Mona Lisa’ appears to be authentic!

Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, left, and a newly-unveiled painting of what is believed to be an earlier version of da Vinci's masterpiece, the Isleworth Mona Lisa.AFP

Last year, art experts claimed that Leonardo da Vinci completed a version of the Mona Lisa some ten years prior to that of the famous Mona Lisa painting which hangs in the Louvre in Paris.

The original Mona Lisa was thought to be the only portrait of Lisa Gherardini (aka Lisa del Giocondo) ever created by the artist,

The painting in question, dubbed the Isleworth Mona Lisa, is slightly larger than the famous portrait and has been the subject of debate as to its authenticity, but new revelations may finally end the debate that has continued since the painting's discovery a century ago.

According to the Feb. 13, Guardian, “New tests on a painting billed as the original version of the Mona Lisa have produced fresh proof that it is the work of Leonardo, a Swiss-based art foundation has said.”

The tests were conducted at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology by a specialist in “sacred geometry.” Italian geometrist Alfonso Rubino. who had previously made extended studies of the geometry of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man [a sketch of a youth with arms and legs extended] after studying the reported copy concluded that the Isleworth portrait “matched Leonardo's geometry and must be his.”

David Feldman, vice-president of the Mona Lisa Foundation said, "When we add these new findings to the wealth of scientific and physical studies we already have, I believe anyone will find the evidence of a Leonardo attribution overwhelming."

Adding to the new evidence, the Zurich institute “carried out a carbon-dating test on the canvas of its painting and found that it was almost certainly manufactured between 1410 and 1455, refuting claims that it was a late 16th century copy.”

The Isleworth Mona Lisa was discovered shortly before the First World War by Hugh Blaker, an English art collector, while looking through the home of a Somerset nobleman. He bought the painting and took it to his studio in Isleworth, London, from which it takes its name.

Reposted from the Examiner


Her smile is infamous -- and her identity -- a mystery. Now scientists are recovering skeletal remains from a Renaissance-era tomb that may bring them one step closer to finding out if the subject of the "Mona Lisa" is indeed Lisa Gherardin.

Pilgrimage to the Heart of Yoga

Pilgrimage to the Heart of Yoga

A Yoga Gives Back Retreat
February 22nd - March 1st, 2015

It's no secret that Yoga puts you in touch with your core essence. Have you ever felt a deep longing channel that essence into a life-transforming experience?
Here is an amazing opportunity to dive deeper into your practice through an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime!
Harnessing the incredible energy that Yoga generates, we can literally be the agents of transformation for the children and mothers in India, who are struggling to survive every day.
The Pilgrimage to the Heart of Yoga Retreat was designed to awaken every aspect of your being through exposure to the core spiritual disciplines of India - authentic Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, and Classical Indian Music.
Most transformational of all, you will get to spend time with the delightful children at Deenabandhu Trust Home, a spiritual haven for 100 orphaned children.
Many of them have been funded by Yoga Gives Back, which this Retreat supports.
Yoga Gives Back is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds in order to alleviate poverty in India to help women and children in need in the country that gave birth to yoga.
Inspired by the revolutionary micro financing breakthrough originated by Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Yoga Gives Back offers micro credit programs to women in India who are otherwise excluded from the conventional banking and financial systems. Funding more than 500 mothers and children this year, YGB also provides funds for orphans and education funds for disadvantaged girls and high school students for them to reach to their dreams.

In this one-of-a-kind retreat, you will truly be guided into the root culture of Yoga in India with the best of the best!
The venue of the retreat is Shreyas Retreat, rated one of the top Yoga retreat centers in the world by Gayot and the Huffington Post.
It is a magical sanctuary nestled within 25 lush green acres of whispering palms.
With only 12 luxurious and individual cottages attended by servers who are themselves immersed in yogic practices, a stay at Shreyas is an unparalleled blend of understated luxury steeped in spiritual culture.
The retreat will be guided by Mariko Hirakawa, an experienced Yoga Instructor who is also an Ayurvedic physician.
A former professional ballet dancer with extensive training with Yoga Masters and Vaidyas (Ayurvedic doctors) of India, she is one of the very few in the West to have completed the rigorous 5 ½ year B.A.M.S degree from one of the top Ayurvedic universities in India.
Proficient in Sanskrit and Hindi, she brings a contemporary global perspective to the traditional wisdom contained in the classical texts of Yoga and Ayurveda.
Her primary teaching style is Vinyasa, which balances the lyrical and vigorous flow of the Ashtanga style with the precise anatomical awareness influenced by Iyengar and Anusara styles. Drawing on her background as a dancer as well as her medical and spiritual studies, she places Yoga in its original context, linking the intricacies of physical alignment with Yoga's spiritual purpose: the attainment of inner freedom.
The retreat will also feature a sitar concert by one of India's leading Sitar Maestros, Krishna Mohan Bhatt.
A life-long disciple of the late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Nikhil Bannerjee, his music has been hailed by the New York Times as one of "great melodic beauty", and the San Francisco Chronicle as one of "exceptional craftsmanship and artistry".
This is an event not to be missed!
Because Indian classical music has its roots in the wisdom of the same ancient Sages who gave us Yoga, it brings great emotional healing, and catalyzes our spiritual growth. In addition to the daily Yoga sessions and the sitar concert, your retreat package includes:

  • Accommodations for 6 nights at the luxurious Shreyas Retreat.
  • THREE 60 minute Rejuvenating Ayurvedic Massages delived with love by Shreyas' highly rated therapists. (Yes, you read right - you get THREE massages in a week!)
  • THREE Gourmet vegetarian meals a day, plus fresh coconut water throughout the day.
  • An overnight trip to Deenabandhu Trust, where you meet the beautiful children supported by Yoga Gives Back.
  • THREE Group Cooking Sessions on Healthy Vegetarian Cuisine. You will learn the secret of Shreyas' world-famous gourmet vegetarian recipes!
  • TWO fun sessions in which you will learn cultural activities such as making and applying henna, how to drape a sari, etc.
  • Trips to nearby temples and local villages
  • Roundtrip airport transfers between Bangalore airport and Shreyas Retreat Center, so all you have to do is arrive at the airport.
  • Wellness consultation upon arrival.
  • Once Daily Group chanting/Sound meditation session
  • Use of all recreational facilities including:
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • Sauna and steam rooms
    • Outdoor Jacuzzi
    • Movie theater with hundreds of DVDs to watch
  • Daily nature based activities in Shreyas' extensive organic vegetable garden.
Rest assured that you will truly be taken care of in every respect. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take make an exponential leap in your spiritual path!
Kayoko Mitsumatsu, Founder/President will be present at this retreat to share YGB's programs with a special trip to Deenabandhu Trust Home outside of Mysore as well as sharing short YGB Films she has been creating using her expertise as a documentary filmmaker.
This retreat is for you if you have been searching for a Yoga experience in India with depth, authenticity and first-rate program and facilities.
This retreat is also for you if you've dreamed of exploring India, but didn't want to do it on your own. We've taken care of all the groundwork for you, and have hand-picked the best!
If you are on a journey of self-healing, physically, mentally, or spiritually this retreat provides the perfect setting for you to tap into a deeper dimension, and make a quantum leap!


The Da Vinci Tower (also known as Dynamic Architecture Building) is a proposed 313 m (1,027 ft), 68-floor tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tower is expected to be architecturally innovative. Uniquely, each floor will be able to rotate independently. This will result in a constantly changing shape of the tower. Each floor
will rotate a maximum of one full rotation in 90 minutes. The entire tower will be powered from wind turbines and solar panels. Five other buildings in the vicinity will also be provided with electricity.

The turbines will be located between each of the rotating floors. They could generate up to 1,200,000 kilowatt-hours of energy.

Dolphins trick fish with mud "nets"

BBC Earth presents One Life. Narrated by Daniel Craig, written and directed by Michael Gunton & Martha Holmes.

Not for the Indie Reader [via Nina Reznick]

The Liyuan Library, Jiaojiehe, China

Camouflaged into its surroundings, the library at Liyuan, two hours north of Beijing, has a facade of flexed twigs wedged between rusty steel rails. Inside, bookshelves are used as floor, stairs, seats and tables.Add caption

The Glasgow School of Art Library, Scotland

Every element in the library of the Glasgow School of Art (1909) was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who had taken evening classes in architecture at the university in 1883.

Mafra Palace Library, Mafra, Portugal

Since its opening in 1771, the Mafra Palace Library has been home to a colony of tiny bats; they roost behind the cases in winter, and in the orchard outside in the summer, swooping in during the night to eat insects which would otherwise damage the books.

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, France

Constructed in the mid-19th century, the Sainte-Geneviève library's iron roof has echoes of the railway buildings of the time.

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal

Portugal’s João the Magnanimous astonished the rector of the University of Coimbra by telling him that his request for help towards library facilities was too modest; the lavish result was financed with gold reserves that had been recently discovered in Brazil.

The man who lives in 1946 [via Nina Reznick]

Ben Sansum is 35. But he lives in 1946. His clothes, his house, the music he listens to - all come from an era before he was even born. He has always been interested the 1940s, but it is an interest that has grown over the years. He's gone from buying reproduction furniture for his house to tracking down the real thing. His 70-year-old carpet is his latest pride and joy. BBC News went to meet Ben at home in Cambridgeshire.

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes

Weird Al's latest video, "Word Crimes," offers viewers a humorous schooling in the correct usage of often misused words, and it's set to the unmistakable tune of Robin Thicke's much-maligned "Blurred Lines."

Gandhi and the Professor [via Mary Calhoun]

When Mahatma Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a white professor whose last name was Peters disliked him intensely and always displayed prejudice and animosity towards him.  Also, because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him, as he expected.... there were always "arguments" and confrontations.

One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch in the dining room of the University, and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor.  The professor said, "Mr. Gandhi, you do not understand.  A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat."

Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, "You do not worry professor.  I'll fly away," and he went and sat at another table.

Mr. Peters, reddened with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions.  Mr. Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question: "Mr. Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?"

Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, "The one with the money, of course."

Mr. Peters, smiling sarcastically said, "I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom, don't you think?"

Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, "Each one takes what he doesn't have."

Mr. Peters, by this time, was fit to be tied.  So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi's exam sheet the word "idiot" and gave it to Gandhi.  Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk trying very hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move.

A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, "Mr. Peters, you signed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade."

Yoga Gives Back August News Letter

Yoga Gives Back
For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.


The Impact of your Donation!!
With your support, YGB is funding more than 500 mothers and children in India this year. Read how your donation has made a real impact on the lives of mothers and children who first received "Sister Aid" direct funding program in 2011. The list of positive changes in many mothers' lives is truly exciting; "building a toilet," "opening a bank account," "adding a tutor for her daughter,' "supporting widowed mother," etc. Read their success stories and Impact Analysis here.


YGBs's new program SHE (Scholarship for Higher Education) is also making a great progress in West Bengal and Karnataka states. 64 high school students are provided with a five-year scholarship to finish high school and advance to college level education. Read stories of the young students who are funded by Pure International here.

Donate at #Operation Girl before August 17th

We are at the 8th place now. Your donation will give YGB a chance to win bonus funding!!
With just $15 a month, a mother can start her own income-earning business in rural villages OR a young daughter can stay in school avoiding child labor and child marriage. Any amount of donation will make a real impact on many lives in India.

Exciting News: 

"Thank You Mother India" Global Campaign Launched
Let's unite to express our gratitude to Mother India for the gift of YOGA. Host just ONE class or event between September 1st and January 31st, 2015. This annual global campaign raises the majority of YGB's funding to India each year! Pick a day and register today here. Your event will be listed and promoted at YGB's website and social media. 

YouTubeWatch this year's 1 minute PR video, you might be in it!! Music by DJ Drez (featuring Sheela Bringi), Edited by Robert Nakano

"Malibu Fundraiser"

Sat, September 20th, 6-9pm at Residence of Dr Amarjit Marwah

The Malibu Fundraiser is the annual flagship event of the global campaign "Thank You Mother India." A very special evening with peaceful chanting, cello ensemble music performance, raffle, live and silent auctions, YGB Films presentation, appetizers, a sit-down dinner, wine and more!!! Mingle with special guests. For more information click here. Early Bird Tickets $80 per person, $100 after August 15th. Gift Bag for everyone (worth $200)! 


Welcome New Ambassadors and Team Members
YGB is delighted and honored to have these new and powerful members to our growing global family!!!


Anri Shiga,
Hong Kong and Japan
Pure Yoga

Wendy Chan,
Yoga Seeds


 Denise DuBarry

Palm Springs, California


Youth Ambassador 

 Elizabeth Stais
San Francisco, California 



Meric Akay,
Milan, Italy 

Yoga Meric Akay


"Pilgrimage to the Heart of Yoga" Feb 22-March 1st, 2015 Bangalore, India
An exclusive Yoga Gives Back Retreat will be at the one of the finest yoga retreat Shreyas in Bangalore with authentic Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, Classical Indian Music, Rejuvenation Spa, as well as overnight trip to YGB partner Deenabandhu Trust Home where we are funding 21 orphaned children. This special retreat is designed by YGB Ambassador Mariko Hirakawa and packaged by Gateway to India Travel. Any questions, write to

Thank you for all these past events and sponsors!
July 27: Chama & Anri Charity Class@TokyoYoga, Japan
July 26: Rooftop Yoga by Wendy Chan@Serangoon Gardens in Singapore
July 13: Project Marshmallow with Ariel Tang in Hong Kong
July 11: Kino MacGregor Workshop@Pure Yoga New York
July 5: Kino MacGrerog Workshop@Breathe Los Gatos, California
June 27-29: Kino MacGregor Workshop@Moksha Yoga, Chicago
June 21: Fundraiser@RaYoga Studio, Costa Mesa, California
June 8: Monthly Donation Class@ Loose Yoga, Crowley, UK

Follow our YGB Blog, Twitter and Instagram for updated news from India and around the world!!

Thank you for all the past and future events,
which make a real difference one class at a time!!

Yoga Gives Back is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

Question, comment, want to learn more?