With over 600 syndromes impacting the central nervous system (CNS), an estimated one in three people worldwide are affected by some kind of neurological disorder (1, 2). Collectively, these disorders were the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death in 2016 (3). Although the symptoms and severity of each disorder vary greatly, the presence of chronic or uncontrolled neuroinflammation appears to be a common feature of many of these conditions.
As the innate immune cells of the CNS, responsible for immune surveillance and macrophage-like activities, microglia are a key cell population of interest to researchers studying neuroinflammatory processes (4). In this blog post, we review two recent studies aiming to dissect the role of microglia and neuroinflammation in multiple sclerosis and neurological disorders characterized by the accumulation of tau protein, or tauopathies.