Single protein plays important dual transport roles in the brain

Just as a packaging breakdown can hamstring delivery of cables, switches and connectors to a house under construction, removing a protein from neurons can block the “shipment” of proteins to developing axons. Axons are the telephone wires of the nervous system. They convey information to dendrites on other nerve cells, in a processing network of phenomenal complexity that is the […]

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Scientists reverse aging process in rat brain stem cells

New research, published today in Nature, reveals how increasing brain stiffness as we age causes brain stem cell dysfunction, and demonstrates new ways to reverse older stem cells to a younger, healthier state. The results have far reaching implications for how we understand the ageing process, and how we might develop much-needed treatments for age-related brain diseases. As our bodies […]

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Pinpointing how cells regulate long-lasting memories

The brain has a knack for safekeeping our most treasured memories, from a first kiss to a child’s birth. In a new study in mouse cells, Columbia neuroscientists have mapped some of the molecular machinery that helps the brain maintain these kinds of long-term memories. By observing the activity of nerve cells of the brain, called neurons, that were extracted […]

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Gene linked to Alzheimer’s disease is involved in neuronal communication

A study published today in the journal Cell Reports sheds new light on how the CD2AP gene may enhance Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility. Integrating experiments in fruit flies, mice and human brains, a multi-institutional team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that the CD2AP gene is involved in synaptic transmission, the process by which neurons communicate. Digging deeper, […]

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Dizziness of unknown cause may be perception disorder: Perception disorders may throw those affected off balance

Many patients with functional dizziness look back on a long odyssey to numerous doctors, because no organic causes could be found. Now for the first time, an experiment at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has identified possible causes of the disorder: problems with the processing of sensory-motor signals in the brain that resemble those associated with dizziness due to […]

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Faulty brain circuits repaired using nanotechnology: Possible new drug targets for dementia and intellectual disability

Working with mouse and human tissue, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report new evidence that a protein pumped out of some — but not all — populations of “helper” cells in the brain, called astrocytes, plays a specific role in directing the formation of connections among neurons needed for learning and forming new memories. Using mice genetically engineered and bred with […]

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Certain cells secrete a substance in the brain that protects neurons: Finding helps explain cascade of events leading to neurodegeneration

USC researchers have discovered a secret sauce in the brain’s vascular system that preserves the neurons needed to keep dementia and other diseases at bay. The finding, in a mouse model of the human brain, focuses on specific cells called pericytes and reveals that they play a previously unknown role in brain health. Pericytes secrete a substance that keeps neurons […]

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Breaking down pathological protein aggregates

Aggregates of the protein alpha-synuclein in the nerve cells of the brain play a key role in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. These protein clumps can travel from nerve cell to nerve cell, causing the disease to progress. A team of researchers led by ETH scientists have now discovered how the body can rid itself of these damaging aggregates. Their […]

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Which brain hemorrhage patients have treatable underlying conditions

When blood vessels in the brain rupture, or hemorrhage, and cause a stroke, large areas of the brain can be permanently damaged. Depending on the cause, some brain hemorrhages may hide underlying lesions that can be treated with surgery, embolization, radiation, or other treatments. Using MRI scans of patients diagnosed with intracerebral hemorrhage, clinical researchers at Jefferson have teased apart […]

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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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