Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology Neuroscience Parkinson's

Researchers Evaluate Controversial Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis

 In the wake of media and public reports about increased mortality linked to a new drug for treating Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) — a symptom of the progressive nervous system disorder in which patients experience hallucinations and delusions — researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conducted a retrospective study of qualifying patients in the UC San Diego Health system, concluding that the new drug, pimavanserin (marketed
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology Neuroscience Parkinson's

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation May Help Treat Symptoms of Rare Movement Disorders

Electrical stimulation of the brain and spinal cord may help treat the symptoms of rare movement disorders called neurodegenerative ataxias, according to a study published in the August 22, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. There are several types of these disorders, which can be hereditary or occur randomly, including spinocerebellar ataxia, multiple system atrophy and Friedreich’s ataxia. Symptoms of ataxias include a lack
Biotechnology cancer Neurodegenerative diseases

FDA approves treatment for two rare types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Poteligeo (mogamulizumab-kpkc) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory mycosis fungoides (MF) or Sézary syndrome (SS) after at least one prior systemic therapy. This approval provides a new treatment option for patients with MF and is the first FDA approval of a drug specifically for SS. “Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome are rare, hard-to-treat types
Neurodegenerative diseases

Alan Alda living with Parkinson’s – a neurologist explains treatment advances

For many, hearing the word “Parkinson’s” conjures an image of tremors. But Parkinson’s disease, brought about by loss of nerve and other brain cells, is actually an incredibly complex movement disorder that can cause symptoms as wide-ranging as smell loss, thinking issues, depression and swallowing problems. More than 1.5 million people in the U.S. have the illness, and millions more loved ones and caregivers are affected by it, too. Actor
Neurodegenerative diseases

Novel therapy delays muscle atrophy in Lou Gehrig’s disease model

Supplementing a single protein found in the spinal cord could help prevent symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Researchers found high levels of the protein--called mitofusion 2 or Mfn2--prevented nerve degeneration, muscle atrophy, and paralysis in a mouse model of the disease. Since Mfn2 is often depleted during Lou Gehrig's, the new study suggests supplementing it could
Neurodegenerative diseases

‘Skinny fat’ in older adults may predict dementia, Alzheimer’s risk

A new study has found that "skinny fat" - the combination of low muscle mass and strength in the context of high fat mass - may be an important predictor of cognitive performance in older adults. While sarcopenia, the loss of muscle tissue that is part of the natural aging process, as well as obesity both negatively impact overall health and cognitive function, their coexistence poses an even higher threat,
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Preliminary Study Suggests Drug May Help Babies with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

A preliminary study suggests that an investigational drug may help increase protein levels in babies with spinal muscular atrophy. The open-label study is released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, April 21 to 27, 2018. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited disease that leads to loss of motor function. It is the leading genetic cause of death in
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology Parkinson's

A Single Concussion May Increase Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

People who have been diagnosed with a mild concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury, may have a 56 percent increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published in the April 18, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “Previous research has shown a strong link between moderate to severe traumatic brain injury and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
Neurodegenerative diseases

Gene therapy may help brain heal from stroke, other injuries

Scientists have found a genetic trigger that may improve the brain's ability to heal from a range of debilitating conditions, from strokes to concussions and spinal cord injuries. A new study in mice from UT Southwestern's O'Donnell Brain Institute shows that turning on a gene inside cells called astrocytes results in a smaller scar and - potentially - a more effective recovery from injury. The research examined spinal injuries but
Neurodegenerative diseases

New Drug Could Offer First Treatment For Irreversible Huntington’s Disease

A groundbreaking new drug is offering hope for Huntington's disease: an inherited neurodegenerative disease that currently has no cure. While the average person's DNA produces healthy huntingtin proteins that nourish brain development, Huntington's disease is caused by a faulty gene that makes toxic proteins instead. These deadly proteins then poison the nervous system and cause loss of motor control, memory, and speech. While there are therapies that exist to help
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Gene Identified That May Provide Potential Therapy for Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with national collaborators, have identified a series of molecular clues to understanding the formation of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). The study offers the first genome-wide analysis of the transcriptome of brain microvascular endothelial cells after KRIT1 inactivation. Findings were published September 28 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. “These mouse studies reveal a critical mechanism in the pathogenesis of cerebral
Neurodegenerative diseases

Tiny Nanopackages Built Out of DNA Help Scientists Peek at How Neurons Work

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago designed a way to use microscopic capsules made out of DNA to deliver a payload of tiny molecules directly into a cell. The technique, detailed Aug. 21 in Nature Nanotechnology, gives scientists an opportunity to understand certain interactions among cells that have previously been hard to track. “It’s really a molecular platform,” said Yamuna Krishnan, professor in chemistry and co-author of
Alzheimers and Dementia Cell Therapy Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Dysfunction In Neuronal Transport Mechanism Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have confirmed that mutation-caused dysfunction in a process cells use to transport molecules within the cell plays a previously suspected but underappreciated role in promoting the heritable form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but also one that might be remedied with existing therapeutic enzyme inhibitors. The findings published in the October 11 online issue of Cell Reports. “Our results further illuminate
Cell Therapy Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Brain Cell ‘Executioner’ Identified

Despite their different triggers, the same molecular chain of events appears to be responsible for brain cell death from strokes, injuries and even such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer's. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have pinpointed the protein at the end of that chain of events, one that delivers the fatal strike by carving up a cell's DNA. The find, they say, potentially opens up a new avenue for
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Iowa State University Scientists Identify New Lead In Search For Parkinson’s Cure

AMES, Iowa – Recently published research from Iowa State University may hint at a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In a paper published in the academic journal Nature Communications, ISU scientists identified a protein called Prokineticin-2 (PK2) that may protect brain cells and is expressed with greater frequency in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. “The neurons use PK2 to cope with stress. It’s an in-built protective mechanism,” said Anumantha
Alzheimers and Dementia cancer Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

New Clinical Trial Will Test Cancer Drug As Alzheimer’S Treatment

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announces a $2.1 million grant awarded to R. Scott Turner, MD, PhD, of Georgetown University Medical Center to conduct a phase II clinical trial of low-dose nilotinib (marketed as Tasigna® for use as a cancer therapy) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Nilotinib is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of adult chronic myeloid leukemia. In preclinical studies conducted by Georgetown researchers, nilotinib reduced cognitive
Alzheimers and Dementia Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Georgetown Receives FDA Clearance To Conduct Clinical Trial With Nilotinib In Alzheimer’s Disease

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) today announces the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed its review of an investigational new drug application (IND) for the use of nilotinib in a phase II clinical trial for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA also informed GUMC investigators that the study can proceed. The clinical trial is expected to begin this year at Georgetown University Medical Center with its
Alzheimers and Dementia Genomes Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Genetic ‘Switch’ Identified As Potential Target For Alzheimer’S Disease

A team at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC), based at Imperial College London, has found an important part of the machinery that switches on a gene known to protect against Alzheimer’s Disease. Working in collaboration with scientists at the Hong Kong University (HKU) and the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, CSC associate professor Richard Festenstein explored the steps by which this Neuroglobin gene is gradually switched on, or up-regulated. Neuroglobin
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Study Discovers Potential New Target For Treatment Of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

For the first time, scientists found that in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the affected nerve cells that control muscle movement, or motor neurons, have defects in their mitochondria, which generate energy used by the cell. Impaired mitochondrial function and structure in motor neurons were discovered before symptoms occurred, suggesting a role in disease development. These findings, published inHuman Molecular Genetics, point to new possibilities for targeted therapy for SMA. “Restoring
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Scalpel-Free Surgery Proves Safe, Effective for Treating Essential Tremor

A study published this week in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine offers the most in-depth assessment yet of the safety and effectiveness of a high-tech alternative to brain surgery to treat the uncontrollable shaking caused by the most common movement disorder. The paper outlines the results of an international clinical trial, led by Jeff Elias, MD, of the University of Virginia Health System, that evaluated the scalpel-free approach