Pathology

Scientists correlate binge-drinking behavior to a brain protein

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered that a brain protein has a key role in controlling binge drinking in animal models. They found that deleting the gene for this protein in mice ramped up alcohol consumption and prevented the brain from signaling the rewarding properties of alcohol.

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Research shows link between high blood sugar levels and Alzheime's disease.

Researchers have uncovered a unique connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, providing further evidence that a disease that robs people of their memories may be affected by elevated blood sugar, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

While many earlier studies have pointed to diabetes as a possible contributor to Alzheimer's, the new study - in mice - shows that elevated glucose in the blood can rapidly increase levels of amyloid beta, a key component of brain plaques in Alzheimer's patients. The buildup of plaques is thought to be an early driver of the complex set of changes that Alzheimer's causes in the brain. The research is published May 4 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Researchers discover a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from Nottingham have played their part in the discovery of a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, in a study with major implications for understanding the causes of the disease.

The international team, which involved a research team led by Kevin Morgan, Professor of Human Genomics and Molecular Genetics at The University of Nottingham, used data from more than 25,000 people to link a rare variant of the TREM2 gene — which is known to play a role in the immune system — to a higher risk of Alzheimer's.

The discovery is the first so-called 'Goldilocks' variant associated with Alzheimer's Disease, because it's prevalence is 'just right — it's common enough to be identified in large populations but rare enough to point to a genetic mutation that potentially could have a significant role in identifying risk factors for the disease.

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Neural progenitor cells from muscles shows promise in treatment for neuro degenerative disorders

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have taken the first steps to create neural-like stem cells from muscle tissue in animals. In the current research, the team isolated neural precursor cells from in vitro adult skeletal muscle of various species including non-human primates and aging mice, and showed that these cells not only survived in the brain, but also migrated to the area of the brain where neural stem cells originate.

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New human neurons generated from adult pericytes from brain

Researchers have discovered a way to generate new human neurons from another type of adult cell found in our brains. The discovery, reported in the October 5th issue of Cell Stem Cell, a Cell Press publication, is one step toward cell-based therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"This work aims at converting cells that are present throughout the brain but themselves are not nerve cells into neurons," said Benedikt Berninger, now at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "The ultimate goal we have in mind is that this may one day enable us to induce such conversion within the brain itself and thus provide a novel strategy for repairing the injured or diseased brain."

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