A team of researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has taken a major step toward understanding the mechanisms involved in the formation of large clumps of tau protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders.
A team of LSU Health New Orleans researchers reports for the first time that deleting one of the inhibitors of the RPE65 gene in a mouse model that carries a human disease mutation prevents degeneration of cone photoreceptors that are used for daytime high-resolution color vision.
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, together with their colleagues at the Barcelona Beta Research Centre in Spain, the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the University of Paris, have found new forms of tau protein that become abnormal in the very early stages of Alzheimer's disease before cognitive problems develop. The scientists developed new tools to detect these subtle changes and confirmed their results in human samples.
Smell loss is a prominent symptom of Covid-19 and the pandemic is leaving many people with long-term smell loss or smell distortions such as parosmia. Parosmia happens when people experience strange and often unpleasant smell distortions. Instead of smelling lemon you may smell petrol. New research shows that parosmia is associated with a recovery of smell performance among patients who undergo 'smell training' (sniffing at least four different odours twice a day every day for several months).
Researchers have identified a unique population of astrocytes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord of mice that produces pain hypersensitivity when activated by neurons carrying signals down from the brain. The findings indicate that the role of descending neurons in controlling spinal pain transmission is not limited to suppression and point to this group of astrocytes as a new target for enhancing the effect of chronic pain treatments.
POSTECH-Stanford joint research team develops multimodal ion-electronic skin that distinguishes temperature from mechanical stimuli. This skin can detect various movements and is applicable in fields including humanoid skin and temperature sensors.
Understanding how the clear, watery substance flows through the brain could yield new insights into health and disease.
A bird-catching Chinese tarantula bite contains a stinger-like poison that plunges into a molecular target in the electrical signaling system of their prey's nerve cells. New cryo-electron microscopy studies show how this venom traps the voltage sensors of sodium channels in a resting state so they can't be activated. Such research may suggest designs for better drugs for chronic pain.
Though neurodegenerative diseases are becoming more common in today's aging societies, the exact way in which accumulated abnormal proteins become toxic to neurons is unknown. In a recent study conducted at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, scientists have discovered a new mechanism of action by which these abnormal proteins actually unlock the normally latent toxicity of native proteins. Their results represent a completely new avenue toward the development of effective therapies.
In new research, Judith Steen, Ph.D. and colleagues at Boston Children's Hospital show for the first time that a pathological form of the tau protein involved in the progression of Alzheimer's disease changes over time due to chemical modifications. Observed in brain tissue from Alzheimer's patients, the modified tau forms correlated with stages of dementia. These discoveries likely mean it will take multiple drugs to target the tau protein effectively.