Alzheimers and Dementia Biotechnology

Stroke drug may also prevent Alzheimer’s disease, say USC researchers

 Researchers from the University of Southern California have discovered that a drug currently being developed to treat stroke patients could also prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The study, which will be published January 15 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, shows that the genetically engineered protein 3K3A-APC protects the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, reducing the buildup of toxic peptides and preventing memory loss. 3K3A-APC is a genetically modified version of a
Cell Therapy

Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Stop Seizures and Improve Cognitive Function

About 3.4 million Americans, or 1.2 percent of the population, have active epilepsy. Although the majority respond to medication, between 20 and 40 percent of patients with epilepsy continue to have seizures even after trying multiple anti-seizure drugs. Even when the drugs do work, people may develop cognitive and memory problems and depression, likely from the combination of the underlying seizure disorder and the drugs to treat it. A team
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Research & Discovery

WVU first site to launch clinical trial utilizing non-opioid micropellet implant for chronic pain

As part of an ongoing commitment to battle opioid addiction, the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University today marked a major milestone, enrolling the first patient in a randomized clinical trial that will test the effectiveness of an injectable non-opioid, non-steroid micropellet to treat sciatica. The phase III clinical trial utilizes a clonidine micropellet, which is half the size of a grain of rice and is placed in a
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
Pharmaceutical Business News

Celgene Partners with Prothena Therapeutics in Potential $2B Deal

(BioSpace) Shares of Prothena Corporation plc have shot up more than 18 percent in premarket trading this morning after the company forged a collaboration with pharma giant Celgene to develop new therapies for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and ALS. Celgene will pay Prothena $150 million in upfront money with the promise of future regulatory and commercial milestone payments. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities
Neuroscience

Microscopic Chariots Deliver Molecules Within Our Cells

On the cellular highway, motor proteins called dyneins rule the road. Dyneins “walk” along structures called microtubules to deliver cellular cargo, such as signaling molecules and organelles, to different parts of a cell. Without dynein on the job, cells cannot divide and people can develop neurological diseases. Now a new study, which appears in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, provides the first three-dimensional (3D) visualization of the dynein-dynactin complex
Neurology Neuroscience

Potential New Autism Drug Shows Promise in Mice

Scientists have performed a successful test of a possible new drug in a mouse model of an autism disorder. The candidate drug, called NitroSynapsin, largely corrected electrical, behavioral and brain abnormalities in the mice. NitroSynapsin is intended to restore an electrical signaling imbalance in the brain found in virtually all forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “This drug candidate is poised to go into clinical trials, and we think it
Alzheimers and Dementia

New Player in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis Identified

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have shown that a protein called membralin is critical for keeping Alzheimer’s disease pathology in check. The study, published in Nature Communications, shows that membralin regulates the cell’s machinery for producing beta-amyloid (or amyloid beta, Aβ), the protein that causes neurons to die in Alzheimer’s disease. “Our results suggest a new path toward future treatments for Alzheimer’s disease,” says Huaxi Xu, Ph.D., the
Biotechnology

Predicting Autism: Researchers Find Autism Biomarkers in Infancy

By using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of infants who have older siblings with autism, scientists were able to correctly identify 80 percent of the babies who would be subsequently diagnosed with autism at 2 years of age. Researchers from the University of Washington were part of a North American effort led by the University of North Carolina to use MRI to measure the brains of "low-risk"
Biotechnology

Attractive Drug Candidate Identified to Target Glioma Brain Tumors

This rapidly fatal brain cancer has seen only two improvements in therapy in 30 years. In a paper published today in Cancer Research, researchers: 1) identify a biomarker enzyme associated with aggressive glioma brain tumors, 2) reveal the regulatory mechanism for that enzyme, and 3) demonstrate potent efficacy, using a mouse model of glioma, for a small molecule inhibitor they have developed. The inhibitor, GA11, retains a core structure that
Medical Devices Neurology

Restoring The Sense Of Touch In Amputees Using Natural Signals Of The Nervous System

Scientists at the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University have found a way to produce realistic sensations of touch in two human amputees by directly stimulating the nervous system. The study, published Oct. 26 in Science Translational Medicine (STM), confirms earlier research on how the nervous system encodes the intensity, or magnitude, of sensations. It is the second of two groundbreaking publications this month by University of Chicago
Neurology

New Hope For Recovery Of Hand Movement For Stroke Patients

Stroke patients are starting a trial of a new electronic device to recover movement and control of their hand. Neuroscientists at Newcastle University have developed the device, the size of a mobile phone, which delivers a series of small electrical shocks followed by an audible click to strengthen brain and spinal connections. The experts believe this could revolutionise treatment for patients, providing a wearable solution to the effects of stroke.
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
Neurology

Glutamate Plays Previously Unknown Role In Neuromuscular Development

For decades, scientists thought acetylcholine was the only neurotransmitter responsible for controlling how muscles and nerves are wired together during development. Turns out, they were wrong. Glutamate, the most common neurotransmitter in the brain, is also necessary. Researchers at the University at Buffalo and Johns Hopkins University reported their findings with mice in the Journal of Neuroscience. The team took a new approach to the old question of how the
Neurology

New Study Finds Connection Between Chronic Pain And Anxiety Disorders

New research provides insight into a long-observed, but little-understood connection between chronic pain and anxiety and offers a potential target for treatment. The study’s findings, published as an Article in Press in Biological Psychiatry, show that increased expression of PACAP – a peptide neurotransmitter the body releases in response to stress – is also increased in response to neuropathic pain and contributes to these symptoms. The researchers examined the expression
Cardiology

George Washington University Researchers Receive $1.6 Million to Improve Cardiac Function During Heart Failure

Researchers at the George Washington University (GW) received $1.6 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study a heart-brain connection that could help the nearly 23 million people suffering from heart failure worldwide. The four-year project will study ways to restore parasympathetic activity to the heart through oxytocin neuron activation, which could improve cardiac function during heart failure. A distinctive hallmark of heart failure is autonomic imbalance,
Uncategorized

Brain Cells That Aid Appetite Control Identified

It’s rare for scientists to get what they describe as “clean” results without spending a lot of time repeating the same experiment over and over again. But when researchers saw the mice they were working with doubling their weight within a month or two, they knew they were on to something. “About twenty years ago there was a big step forward in our understanding of obesity when researchers discovered that