Breaking News
October 24, 2018 - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Approval of Khapzory (levoleucovorin) for Injection
October 24, 2018 - Researcher uses smartphone to detect breast cancer gene
October 24, 2018 - Advanced breast cancer patients can benefit from immunotherapy-chemotherapy combination
October 24, 2018 - Stress related to social stigma negatively impacts mental health of autistic people
October 24, 2018 - New 17-item questionnaire may help detect GI disorders in children with autism
October 24, 2018 - 12% of frequent marijuana smokers experience cannabis withdrawal syndrome
October 24, 2018 - Immune therapy may be potential treatment option for patients with hard-to-treat ankylosing spondylitis
October 24, 2018 - Poor Experience With PCP Linked to Hospitalization in CKD
October 23, 2018 - Dummies not to blame for common speech disorder in kids
October 23, 2018 - The future of ethics and biomedicine: An interview
October 23, 2018 - X4 Pharmaceuticals announces clinical data of X4P-001-IO and Opdivo in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma
October 23, 2018 - FDA targets 465 websites that sell potentially dangerous, unapproved drugs
October 23, 2018 - New approach may lead to better diagnostic techniques for autoimmune disorders
October 23, 2018 - Innovative computer software sheds new light on genetic processes underlying deadly diseases
October 23, 2018 - Juul Drawing Lots of Teen Followers on Twitter
October 23, 2018 - WHO says Zika risk low in Pacific ahead of Meghan visit
October 23, 2018 - A deeper look at ‘Reflecting Frankenstein’
October 23, 2018 - Breastfeeding can have protective affect against high blood pressure in women, confirms study
October 23, 2018 - Epigenetic modifications may contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease
October 23, 2018 - Volunteering for peer counseling programs benefits people with lupus
October 23, 2018 - Cancer treatment may undergo a paradigm shift to immunotherapy soon
October 23, 2018 - Study uncovers new mechanism of action in a first-line drug for diabetes
October 23, 2018 - New type of molecule shows early promise against treatment-resistant prostate cancer
October 23, 2018 - Lancet publishes pioneering study of Aimovig’s efficacy in episodic migraine patients
October 23, 2018 - Scientists grow functioning human neural networks in 3D from stem cells
October 23, 2018 - Using mushrooms as a prebiotic may help improve glucose regulation
October 23, 2018 - New ENT clinic treats children in Zimbabwe
October 23, 2018 - CUIMC Celebrates 2018-2019, Issue 2
October 23, 2018 - Immunotherapy is better than chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced head and neck cancer
October 23, 2018 - Intake of painkillers during pregnancy linked to early puberty in future offspring
October 23, 2018 - ConnectToBrain project seeks to improve techniques for brain stimulation in current clinical use
October 23, 2018 - Polyganics begins first-in-human clinical trial of LIQOSEAL for reducing CSF leakage
October 23, 2018 - Gut bacterial community of healthy adults recovers after short-term exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics
October 23, 2018 - Lowering systolic blood pressure does not damage the kidneys, shows study
October 23, 2018 - Incyte Announces Positive Data from Phase 2b Trial of Ruxolitinib Cream in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis
October 23, 2018 - Cardiovascular admissions more common among most deprived
October 23, 2018 - Targeted drug and hormone therapy combination extends breast cancer survival
October 23, 2018 - Map of human liver cells reveals molecular make-up of individual cells
October 23, 2018 - Drugs approved for breast cancer treatment are effective and well tolerated in men
October 23, 2018 - EKF introduces new hand-held lactate analyzer for rapid sports performance monitoring
October 23, 2018 - Researchers identify common genetic connection in lung conditions
October 23, 2018 - Forbius initiates Phase 2a trial evaluating efficacy, safety of AVID100 in patients with squamous NSCLC
October 23, 2018 - Immunotherapy achieves major pathological response in early-stage mismatch repair deficient colon cancer
October 23, 2018 - New discovery may lead to better treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients
October 23, 2018 - FDA Approves Dupixent (dupilumab) for Moderate-to-Severe Asthma
October 23, 2018 - Researchers identify immune culprits linked to inflammation and bone loss in gum disease
October 23, 2018 - Despite lower risk factors, black men have higher rates of recidivism
October 23, 2018 - Study finds why pregnant women in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan prefer cesarean delivery
October 23, 2018 - AbbVie’s U-ACHIEVE Phase 2b/3 dose-ranging study improves outcomes in patients with ulcerative colitis
October 23, 2018 - NCI grant awarded to Abramson Cancer Center to study CAR T cells In solid tumors
October 23, 2018 - Scientists use electron microscope to study chemical transformation in catalytic cross-coupling reaction
October 23, 2018 - Research offers new hope to men who received childhood cancer treatment
October 23, 2018 - New medical navigation system receives international innovation award
October 23, 2018 - Adverse Childhood Experiences Tied to Burnout in BSN Students
October 23, 2018 - High levels of oral disease among elite athletes affecting performance
October 23, 2018 - Study examines effect of immediate vs delayed pushing during labor on delivery outcomes
October 23, 2018 - LU-RRTC to spearhead capacity-building efforts for racial and ethnic populations
October 23, 2018 - Maintenance therapy with olaparib improves progression-free survival in advanced ovarian cancer patients
October 23, 2018 - Organic food may protect against cancers finds study
October 23, 2018 - Interweaving anxiety disorder associated with stuttering remains unrecognized
October 23, 2018 - Cannabis oil shown to significantly improve Crohn’s disease symptoms
October 23, 2018 - Knowledge of sex differences in lower urinary tract may help stimulate breakthroughs in diagnosis, management
October 23, 2018 - Common antibodies associated with myocardial infarction
October 23, 2018 - Study reveals new treatment option for women with advanced breast cancer resistant to hormone therapy
October 23, 2018 - Brain’s ‘Self-Control’ Center May Be Key to Weight-Loss Success
October 23, 2018 - Prosthetic valve mismatches common in transcatheter valve replacement, ups risk of death
October 23, 2018 - Can virtual reality help people become more compassionate?
October 23, 2018 - Screen time eclipsed outdoor time for most students, shows study
October 23, 2018 - SLU researcher seeks to find solutions for ‘chemo brain’ symptoms and side effects of opioids
October 23, 2018 - Plastics now commonly found in human stools
October 23, 2018 - Zoledronic acid increases disease-free survival in premenopausal women with HR+ early breast cancer
October 23, 2018 - Cancer survivors at risk for heart failure during, after pregnancy
October 23, 2018 - Stanford project brings health education videos to mothers in South Africa
October 23, 2018 - HIV-infected Hispanics at higher risk of developing HPV-related cancers, finds study
October 23, 2018 - Politicians hop aboard ‘Medicare-for-all’ train, destination unknown
October 23, 2018 - Study suggests rising childhood obesity rates as cause for serious hip disease in adolescents
October 23, 2018 - Study highlights existence of barriers to early clinical trial access for adolescents and young adults
October 23, 2018 - Protein sequencing technique could revolutionize biomedical research
October 23, 2018 - Canon Medical to showcase world’s first Ultra-High Resolution CT system at ASTRO 2018
October 23, 2018 - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Announces Release of Updated Poziotinib Data From MD Anderson Phase 2 Study in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients
Dementia study sheds light on how damage spreads through brain

Dementia study sheds light on how damage spreads through brain

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Insights into how a key chemical disrupts brain cells in a common type of dementia have been revealed by scientists.

Brain tissue from people with Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) showed that the protein builds up in vital parts of neurons that connect cells and may jump from one cell to another through these connections.

Scientists say the findings shed light on the causes of DLB and will help to accelerate the search for a treatment.

The study, co-led by the University of Edinburgh, focused on synapses – shared connection points between brain cells that allow chemical and electrical signals to flow between cells. These signals are vital for forming memories and are key to brain health, experts say.

Researchers showed that synapses in five people who had died with DLB contained clumps of the damaging protein, known as alpha-synuclein, which could contribute to dementia symptoms.

Toxic alpha-synuclein was spotted in both sides of the synapses, suggesting that it may jump between cells through these connections. This sheds light on how damage could be spread through the brain.

Similar findings were not seen in brain tissue from people who had died with Alzheimer’s disease or those without dementia.

The discovery was made with extremely powerful technology, used in DLB for the first time, which allowed the scientists to view detailed images of over one million single synapses. Individual synapses are around 5000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.

Although alpha-synuclein clumps had been previously identified in DLB, their effects on synapses were unknown because of difficulties in studying them due to their tiny size.

DLB is the third most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s and vascular dementias, affecting around 100,000 people in the UK. It can cause severe memory loss as well as movement problems and there is no cure.

Professor Tara Spires-Jones, Programme Lead at the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, who co-led the study, said: “DLB is a devastating condition and our findings suggest that it is at least partly driven by damage to synapses. These discoveries should invigorate the search for therapies aimed at reducing synaptic damage and open the possibility of targeting the spread of alpha-synuclein through the brain, which could stop disease progression in its tracks.”

Dr Rosa Sancho, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This exciting research using cutting-edge technology sheds new light on the progression of DLB in the brain. The results provide convincing, measurable and visual evidence that toxic alpha-synuclein is disrupting synapses that could potentially contribute to the devastating symptoms of the disease.

“We are extremely pleased our funding has helped produce these important results which demonstrate potential avenues for much-needed new treatments for people who are living with DLB. The research we fund would not be possible without the work of our tireless supporters who go to extraordinary lengths to allow talented researchers to make important new discoveries like these.”


Explore further:
Tug of war between Parkinson’s protein and growth factor

More information:
Brain (2017). DOI: 10.1093/brain/awx275

Journal reference:
Brain

Provided by:
University of Edinburgh

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles