Free Neuropathology <p><em>Free Neuropathology</em> is a non-commercial journal that is run by Neuropathologists and other Neuroscientists and publishes papers on Human and Experimental Neuropathology. It is free for authors, free for readers, free from publishers, free from excessive formalities, and it encourages exchange of free opinions.</p> <p><em>Free Neuropathology</em> is not just another open-access online journal. It is a new type of journal edited and published by scientists working in the field. We do not have any financial interests, and we strongly feel that the huge amount of money currently spent for increasing the profit of publishers should be better invested into science. We believe that the usual activities of publishers such as copyediting, layout, hosting of articles, maintenance of the website and promotion could and should be overtaken by scientists in order to restitute scientific freedom. There is no article processing fee and no paywall -- the journal is free for everyone ("Diamond Open Access"). We try to reduce technicalities to a minimum. This grassroots development is managed by enthusiastic neuroscientists and it may be the future of publishing.</p> en-US <p>Papers are published open access under the Creative Commons BY 4.0 license.&nbsp;This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. Data included in the article are made available under the CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication waiver, unless otherwise stated, meaning that all copyrights are waived.</p> (Werner Paulus) (Ralf Mersmann) Tue, 12 Jan 2021 00:00:00 +0100 OJS 60 Neurodevelopmental disorders: 2021 update <p>One of the current challenges in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) is still to determine their underlying aetiology and risk factors. NDDs comprise a diverse group of disorders primarily related to neuro-developmental dysfunction including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental delay, intellectual dis-ability (ID), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that may present with a certain degree of cognitive dysfunction and high prevalence of neuropsychiatric outcomes. Last year, advances in human ge-nomics have begun to shed light on the genetic architecture of these disorders and large-scale sequencing studies are starting to reveal mechanisms that range from unique genomic DNA methylation patterns (i.e. “episignatures”) to highly polygenic conditions. In addition, the contribution of <em>de novo</em> somatic mutations to neurodevelopmental diseases is being recognized. However, progressing from genetic findings to underlying neuropathological mechanisms has proved challenging, due to the increased resolution of the molecular and genetic assays. Advancement in modelling tools is likely to improve our understanding of the origin of neuro-developmental disorders and provide insight into their developmental mechanisms. Also, combined in vivo editing of multiple genes and single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) are bringing us into a new era of un-derstanding the molecular neuropathology of NDDs.</p> Alfonsa Zamora-Moratalla, María Martínez de Lagrán, Mara Dierssen ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 24 Mar 2021 09:37:03 +0100 Neurooncology: 2021 update <p>This article briefly presents 10 topics that were selected by the author as ‘top 10 discoveries’ published in 2020 in the broader field of neurooncological pathology including neurosciences as well as clinical neurooncology of interest for neurooncological pathology. The selected topics concern new information on the molecular characteristics of gliomas (infratentorial IDH-mutant diffuse astrocytomas, pediatric low-grade gliomas, infant-type high-grade gliomas, hypermutation in gliomas), the immunological aspects of the brain tumor microenvironment (TME), the impact of the TME on preclinical glioma models, and the importance of lymphatic drainage on brain tumor surveillance. Furthermore, important papers were published on two ‘new’ genetic syndromes predisposing to medulloblastoma, on liquid biopsy-based diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and on the ‘microbiome’ in glioblastomas (and other cancers). In the last part of this review, a dozen of papers are given as examples of papers that did not make it to the top 10 list of the author, underscoring the subjective component in the selection process. Acknowledging that 2020 will be remembered as the year in which the world changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the consequences of this pandemic for neurooncological pathology are briefly discussed as well. Hopefully, this review forms an incentive to appreciate the wealth of information provided by the papers that were used as building blocks for the present manuscript.</p> Pieter Wesseling ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 17 Mar 2021 14:07:48 +0100 Neurotrauma: 2021 update <p>Despite the interruptions and restrictions to the progress of science that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced, 2020 was marked by a number of important advances in the field of neurotrauma. Here, I will highlight what I believe are among the most important contributions. This year there were notable advances towards providing clinically useful information on neurotrauma outcome through the use of fluid biomarkers. I also introduce fascinating approaches to studying the role of microglia in nervous system repair and neuroinflammatory mechanisms leading to dysfunction through the use of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitors, especially Plexxikon 5622 (PLX5622). Oral administration of this compound is able to deplete microglial elements and then, following withdrawal from the drug, a new population of microglia then repopulates the brain. Use of this approach in traumatic brain injury experimental models has produced important insights into the pathogenetic role of microglia in responding to this process. Important new data on the nature and distribution of tau involvement of neurons and astrocytes in cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) also appeared suggesting differences and similarities to Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the use of tau-specific PET scan ligands in at-risk populations has suggested that this approach may be able to identify cases with CTE. Lastly, we note the death in the past year of a major contributor to the field of neurotrauma neuropathology, Professor J. Hume Adams.</p> Daniel P. Perl ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:16:06 +0100 Neuromuscular disease: 2021 update <p>This review highlights ten important advances in the neuromuscular disease field that were first reported in 2020. The overarching topics include (i) advances in understanding of fundamental neuromuscular biology; (ii) new / emerging diseases; (iii) advances in understanding of disease etiology and pathogenesis; (iv) diagnostic advances; and (v) therapeutic advances. Within this broad framework, the individual disease entities that are discussed in more detail include neuromuscular complications of COVID-19, supervillin-deficient myopathy, 19p13.3-linked distal myopathy, vasculitic neuropathy due to eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, spinal muscular atrophy, idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, and transthyretin neuropathy/myopathy. In addition, the review highlights several other advances (such as the revised view of the myofibrillar architecture, new insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms of muscle regeneration, and development of new electron microscopy tools) that will likely have a significant impact on the overall neuromuscular disease field going forward.</p> Marta Margeta ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 23 Feb 2021 13:35:19 +0100 Neuropathology of COVID-19 (neuro-COVID): clinicopathological update <p>Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is emerging as the greatest public health crisis in the early 21<sup>st</sup> century. Its causative agent, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is an enveloped single-stranded positive-sense ribonucleic acid virus that enters cells via the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor or several other receptors. While COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, other organs including the brain can be involved. In Western clinical studies, relatively mild neurological dysfunction such as anosmia and dysgeusia is frequent (~70-84%) while severe neurologic disorders such as stroke (~1-6%) and meningoencephalitis are less common. It is unclear how much SARS-CoV-2 infection contributes to the incidence of stroke given co-morbidities in the affected patient population. Rarely, clinically-defined cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome and acute necrotizing encephalopathy have been reported in COVID-19 patients. Common neuropathological findings in the 184 patients reviewed include microglial activation (42.9%) with microglial nodules in a subset (33.3%), lymphoid inflammation (37.5%), acute hypoxic-ischemic changes (29.9%), astrogliosis (27.7%), acute/subacute brain infarcts (21.2%), spontaneous hemorrhage (15.8%), and microthrombi (15.2%). In our institutional cases, we also note occasional anterior pituitary infarcts. COVID-19 coagulopathy, sepsis, and acute respiratory distress likely contribute to a number of these findings. When present, central nervous system lymphoid inflammation is often minimal to mild, is detected best by immunohistochemistry and, in one study, indistinguishable from control sepsis cases. Some cases evince microglial nodules or neuronophagy, strongly supporting viral meningoencephalitis, with a proclivity for involvement of the medulla oblongata. The virus is detectable by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, or electron microscopy in human cerebrum, cerebellum, cranial nerves, olfactory bulb, as well as in the olfactory epithelium; neurons and endothelium can also be infected. Review of the extant cases has limitations including selection bias and limited clinical information in some cases. Much remains to be learned about the effects of direct viral infection of brain cells and whether SARS-CoV-2 persists long-term contributing to chronic symptomatology.</p> Jerry J. Lou, Mehrnaz Movassaghi, Dominique Gordy, Madeline G. Olson, Ting Zhang, Maya S. Khurana, Zesheng Chen, Mari Perez-Rosendahl, Samasuk Thammachantha, Elyse J. Singer, Shino D. Magaki, Harry V. Vinters, William H. Yong ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 18 Jan 2021 15:01:22 +0100 Neuroinflammation: 2021 update <p>Key requirements for the validity of a neuropathological study are the inclusion of large numbers of biopsy or autopsy cases and proper controls, the rigorous classification of the basic neuropathology and the selection of the most suitable technologies for investigation. Whether the studies are performed with the fanciest, new, and state of the art technology or with rather conventional methodology is of minor importance. Fol-lowing these criteria, a spectrum of neuropathological studies has been published in 2020, which provides new insights on important questions related to neurological disease. They include the pathological substrate of brain disease in COVID-19 infected patients, the nature of the adaptive and innate inflammatory response, or the type and mechanisms of tissue injury and repair in multiple sclerosis, and diagnostically relevant or mechanistic new insights into antibody-mediated diseases of the central nervous system. Other studies de-scribe in detail the dynamic changes of brain inflammation in patients with trisomy 21 as a disease model for Alzheimer’s disease, or the presence and consequences of vascular comorbidities in a chronic inflammatory disease, such as multiple sclerosis. All these contributions have provided important, highly relevant clues for basic and translational neuroscience.</p> Hans Lassmann ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 12 Jan 2021 16:10:48 +0100 Detailed neuropathologic report of COVID-19 complicated by large intracerebral hemorrhage and periventricular lesions with macrophagic infiltrates <p>Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects a wide range of systems. Significant involvement of the central nervous system has been described, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Thus far, neuropathologic reports of patients who passed away from COVID-19 have generally described non-specific findings, such as variable reactive gliosis and meningeal chronic inflammatory infiltrates, as well as the consequences of the infection’s systemic complications on the brain, including ischemic infarcts and hypoxic/ischemic encephalopathy. The neuropathological changes in patients with COVID-19 and large hemorrhagic strokes have not been described in detail. We report the case of an elderly male who had a long course of COVID-19 and ultimately passed away from a large intracerebral hemorrhage. In addition to acute hemorrhage, neuropathologic examination demonstrated non-specific reactive changes and chronic periventricular lesions with macrophagic and perivascular lymphocytic infiltrates without evidence of demyelination or presence of SARS-CoV-2 by PCR test. This manuscript expands the spectrum of reported neuropathological changes in patients with COVID-19.</p> Adrian Levine, Carol Lee, Craig Fava, Frankie Tsang, Kelly McNeil, Stephen T. Yip, Veronica Hirsch-Reinshagen ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 25 Mar 2021 10:45:31 +0100 The definition and role of brain invasion in meningioma grading: Still controversial after all these years Arie Perry ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 24 Mar 2021 17:31:05 +0100