A treasure map to understanding the epigenetic causes of disease

More than 15 years after scientists first mapped the human genome, most diseases still cannot be predicted based on one’s genes, leading researchers to explore epigenetic causes of disease. But the study of epigenetics cannot be approached the same way as genetics, so progress has been slow. Now, researchers at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of […]

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Defects in heart valve cilia during fetal development cause mitral valve prolapse

Genetic variation in heart valve cells of the developing fetus create the blueprint for the later development of mitral valve prolapse, according to the cover story of today’s Science Translational Medicine. The mutations cause defects in antenna-like cellular structures called primary cilia that previously had no known function in the heart valves. These findings were made possible by an international […]

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Ragweed compounds could protect nerve cells from Alzheimer’s

As spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, many people are cursing ragweed, a primary culprit in seasonal allergies. But scientists might have discovered a promising new use for some substances produced by the pesky weed. In ACS’ Journal of Natural Products, researchers have identified and characterized ragweed compounds that could help nerve cells survive in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease […]

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A deep-dive into the impact of arthritis drugs on gene expression: New analytical approach could serve as powerful tool to evaluate and compare treatments

A new computational framework has revealed key differences between four rheumatoid arthritis medications and their impact on biological pathways in mice. Niki Karagianni of Biomedcode Hellas SA, Greece, and colleagues present their new approach and findings in PLOS Computational Biology. People with rheumatoid arthritis often receive medications that target and inhibit Tumor-Necrosis Factor (TNF), a protein involved in the painful […]

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Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder’: Self-propagating amyloid and tau prions found in post-mortem brain samples, with highest levels in patients who died young

Two proteins central to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease act as prions — misshapen proteins that spread through tissue like an infection by forcing normal proteins to adopt the same misfolded shape — according to new UC San Francisco research. Using novel laboratory tests, the researchers were able to detect and measure specific, self-propagating prion forms of the proteins amyloid […]

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Low scam awareness in old age may be an early sign of impending cognitive decline and dementia

Low scam awareness in older people is associated with risk for developing Alzheimer dementia or mild cognitive impairment in the future. These findings suggest that changes in social judgment occur before changes in thinking or memory are recognizable. Findings from a prospective cohort study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Identifying predictors of dementia and mild cognitive impairment is […]

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Genetic analysis has potential to transform diagnosis and treatment of adults with liver disease of unknown cause

Adults suffering from liver disease of unknown cause represent an understudied and underserved patient population. A new study reported in the Journal of Hepatology, published by Elsevier, supports the incorporation of whole-exome sequencing (WES) in the diagnosis and management of adults suffering from unexplained liver disease and underscores its value in developing an understanding of which liver phenotypes of unknown […]

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TB: Promising new drugs for old pathogen Mtb

Tuberculosis (TB), an ancient and notoriously difficult disease to treat, has killed millions through the course of human history; and the antibiotics that have been used to fight the disease in recent history are becoming less and less effective. In the face of this reality, Dennis Wright, professor of medicinal chemistry in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, […]

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Bateman receives Potamkin Award for Alzheimer’s research

Randall J. Bateman, MD, the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Diseases. He will receive the award May 6 at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in Philadelphia. Sometimes referred to as the Nobel […]

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Growing evidence: Water as a potential treatment for inherited cause of kidney failure

People with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) could benefit from a moderate increase in water intake, according to new research. A study from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research found that a moderate increase in water intake in rats with PKD led to a long-term reduction in kidney cyst growth and fibrosis. This latest findings add to the growing body of […]

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