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UCL research opens up new way to treat neurological disorders

UCL research opens up new way to treat neurological disorders

The way that tetanus neurotoxin enters nerve cells has been discovered by UCL scientists, who showed that this process can be blocked, offering a potential therapeutic intervention for tetanus. This newly-discovered pathway could be exploited to deliver therapies to the nervous system, opening up a whole new way to treat neurological disorders such as motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathies. [More]
Isis Pharmaceuticals announces initiation of ISIS-SMN Rx Phase 3 study in children with SMA

Isis Pharmaceuticals announces initiation of ISIS-SMN Rx Phase 3 study in children with SMA

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the initiation of a pivotal Phase 3 study evaluating ISIS-SMNRx in approximately 120 non-ambulatory children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). [More]
Research findings could provide insight into how doctors could restore human memory

Research findings could provide insight into how doctors could restore human memory

UCLA neurophysicists have found that space-mapping neurons in the brain react differently to virtual reality than they do to real-world environments. Their findings could be significant for people who use virtual reality for gaming, military, commercial, scientific or other purposes. [More]
Abnormal connections between neurons cause motor coordination issues in autism

Abnormal connections between neurons cause motor coordination issues in autism

Abnormal connections between neurons are the likely cause of motor coordination issues seen in autism spectrum disorder. Using a mouse model of autism, scientists from the University of Chicago identified a malfunctioning neural circuit associated with reduced capacity for motor learning. This appears to arise from an inability to eliminate unneeded neural connections in the brain. [More]
Scientists reveal mechanisms that create 'Mexican waves' in brain

Scientists reveal mechanisms that create 'Mexican waves' in brain

Scientists have revealed the mechanisms that enable certain brain cells to persuade others to create 'Mexican waves' linked with cognitive function. [More]
Findings offer insight on mechanism reputed for triggering cell death

Findings offer insight on mechanism reputed for triggering cell death

Synapse, the name for the signal-receiving site on a neuron, comes from the Greek word for contact. Neuroscientists used to maintain that neurons form one-to-one relationship to contact one another. Yet more researchers are finding evidence that shows how neurons function as part of a network. An incoming excitation does not always provoke an outgoing signal. [More]
New study shows that brain’s ability to manage stress depends on brain protein

New study shows that brain’s ability to manage stress depends on brain protein

The brain's ability to effectively deal with stress or to lack that ability and be more susceptible to depression, depends on a single protein type in each person's brain, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published November 12 in the journal Nature. [More]
Scientists identify new therapeutic targets, screening test to uncover compounds for memory disorders

Scientists identify new therapeutic targets, screening test to uncover compounds for memory disorders

In a pair of related studies, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a number of new therapeutic targets for memory disorders and have developed a new screening test to uncover compounds that may one day work against those disorders. [More]
Researchers create microtube platform to analyze neuron growth

Researchers create microtube platform to analyze neuron growth

Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury. [More]
Stopping the death of synapses: an interview with Dr Soledad Galli

Stopping the death of synapses: an interview with Dr Soledad Galli

Synapses are the sites that connect neurons – sites where information is passed from one neuron to another. They are highly specialized structures and synaptic function is crucial for normal brain function. [More]
Endothelin gene expression linked to vision loss in premature babies

Endothelin gene expression linked to vision loss in premature babies

A gene known to play a major role in constricting blood vessels also appears to be a major player in the aberrant blood vessel growth that can destroy the vision of premature babies. [More]
McLean Hospital lab explores use of stem cell therapy to treat epilepsy

McLean Hospital lab explores use of stem cell therapy to treat epilepsy

McLean Hospital and Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have new evidence that stem cell transplantation could be a worthwhile strategy to help epileptics who do not respond to anti-seizure drugs. [More]
U-M researchers show how neurons perform multiple functions

U-M researchers show how neurons perform multiple functions

Researchers at the University of Michigan have shown how a single neuron can perform multiple functions in a model organism, illuminating for the first time this fundamental biological mechanism and shedding light on the human brain. [More]
Study looks at new diagnostic, treatment approaches to neurological conditions

Study looks at new diagnostic, treatment approaches to neurological conditions

Despite great advances in understanding how the human brain works, psychiatric conditions, neurodegenerative disorders, and brain injuries are on the rise. Progress in the development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches appears to have stalled. In a special issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron, experts look at the challenges associated with "translational neuroscience," or efforts to bring advances in the lab to the patients who need them. [More]
Light-activated diabetes drug: an interview with Dr David Hodson

Light-activated diabetes drug: an interview with Dr David Hodson

We've known about chemicals that can be light-activated for about five to ten years now. They’ve mainly all been applied to neurons and, more specifically, the retina. Nobody has ever really looked at any tissues outside of the nervous system. [More]
Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that even brief workouts can reduce the risk of relapse in rats withdrawing from methamphetamine. In addition, the team found that exercise affected the neurons in a brain region that had never before been associated with meth withdrawal, suggesting a new direction for drug development. [More]
3D brain-like tissue: an interview with Professor David Kaplan, Tufts University

3D brain-like tissue: an interview with Professor David Kaplan, Tufts University

In 2D, neurons tend to form limited connectivity reflective of the 3D complexity in the brain and have more limited cultivation time before reduction in functions. [More]
Tau proteins spur neuron death in Alzheimer's disease

Tau proteins spur neuron death in Alzheimer's disease

New research points to tau, not amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaque, as the seminal event that spurs neuron death in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The finding, which dramatically alters the prevailing theory of Alzheimer's development, also explains why some people with plaque build-up in their brains don't have dementia. [More]
Scratching itchy skin causes the brain to release serotonin, intensifies itchy feeling

Scratching itchy skin causes the brain to release serotonin, intensifies itchy feeling

Turns out your mom was right: Scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation. [More]
Aging astrocytes lose ability to protect motor neurons, reveal Cedars-Sinai ALS researchers

Aging astrocytes lose ability to protect motor neurons, reveal Cedars-Sinai ALS researchers

Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks muscle-controlling nerve cells – motor neurons – in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, leading to progressive weakness and eventual paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Patients typically survive only three to five years after diagnosis. [More]