Study shows the interdependency between the structure and function of neurons

In diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the neurons fail to communicate correctly with each other. As Bonn-based researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) now report in the journal “Neuron“, these connectivity problems can be ascribed to alterations in the structure of the nerve cells. For their study, the scientists investigated diseased nerve cells using high precision methods and subsequently simulated their electrical properties on the computer.

Damaged messenger RNA can jam cellular machines that make protein. The failure to clear the jams and chew up bad messengers is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s

Damage to DNA is an issue for all cells, particularly in cancer, where the mechanisms that repair damage typically fail. The same agents that damage DNA also damage its sister molecule messenger RNA (mRNA), which ferries transcripts of the genes to the tens of thousands of ribosomes in each cell. But little attention has been paid to this damage.

Researchers at Karolinska Institute have succeeded in explaining how stem cells in the brain change to allow one type of stem cell to produce different cell types at different stages

In a study being published in the journal Neuron, researchers show that the signal molecule TGF-beta acts as a time signal that regulates the nerve stem cells' potential at different stages of the brain's development – knowledge that may be significant for future pharmaceutical development.

One remarkable quality of pluripotent stem cells is they are immortal in the lab, able to divide and grow indefinitely under the right conditions. It turns out this ability also may exist further down the development path, with the workhorse progenitor cells responsible for creating specific tissues.

In its first clinical application in pediatric patients, an investigational medication developed and manufactured at UC Davis has been found to effectively treat children with life-threatening and difficult-to-control epileptic seizures without side effects, according to a research report by scientists at UC Davis and Northwestern University.

The investigational formulation of allopregnanolone was manufactured by UC Davis Health System's Good Manufacturing Practice Laboratory. Two children were treated with the allopregnanolone formulation, one at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, the other at the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Both children were weaned from general anesthetics and other seizure treatments and their seizures resolved. In both instances the children are recovering.