In many neurodegenerative diseases, proteins clump in the brain, forming so-called amyloid fibrils. Yet there exists a cellular defence mechanism that counteracts this process and even dissolves fibrils already formed. The mechanism is based on the activity of molecular helpers, so-called chaperones of the heat shock protein 70 family. Heidelberg researchers studied how the Hsp70 system disaggregates fibrils of the Parkinson-specific protein α-synuclein in a test tube.
Researchers have found a new role for recently discovered neurotransmitter system that uses the trace amine-associated receptor 5 (TAAR5) for neurotransmission. It has been observed that lack of TAAR5 in mice leads to a higher number of dopamine neurons and an increase in adult neurogenesis, i.e. the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain.
A molecular regulator made of analog signals is found to regulate electrical signals in the brain.
Researchers from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) have shown that nanoparticles could be used to deliver drugs to the brain to treat neurodegenerative diseases.
For centuries, indigenous societies in the Amazon have used ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea, for shamanic purposes. A research group led by the Complutense University of Madrid has shown that in animal models, this drink stimulates the formation of neurons and other brain cells, and thus offers a potential therapy for psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
The effect of dopaminergic medication on the learning abilities of patients with Parkinson's disease turns out to be linked to the presence of tremor symptoms. In patients who do not experience tremor, dopaminergic medication improves the ability to learn from rewards (reinforcement learning). Remarkably, the medication brings no benefit in reward learning to patients who do exhibit tremor.
Pre-clinical research into deadly brain cancer, Parkinson's, dementia, epilepsy and other major psychiatric and neurological conditions can speed up with the global commercialisation of an advanced neuromedium, called BrainPhys™. As outlined in Nature Communications, medical scientists in Australia and North America have given the BrainPhys™ Imaging (BPI) technology the thumbs-up, especially in vital work with live neurons in-vitro.
A team of scientists including two physicists at the University of Sussex has found a way to circumvent a 178-year old theory which means they can effectively cancel magnetic fields at a distance. They are the first to be able to do so in a way which has practical benefits.
While our circadian body clock dictates our preferred rhythm of sleep or wakefulness, a relatively new concept - the epigenetic clock - could inform us about how swiftly we age, and how prone we are to diseases of old age.
Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas From Johns Hopkins Medicine