Diseases of the Brain: Computer Model of Nerve Cells Provides Insights into Communication Problems

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.

Down syndrome helps researchers understand Alzheimer’s disease

The link between a protein typically associated with Alzheimer's disease and its impact on memory and cognition may not be as clear as once thought, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center. The findings are revealing more information about the earliest stages of the neurodegenerative disease.

Goodnight. Sleep Clean.

Sleep, it turns out, may play a crucial role in our brain’s physiological maintenance. As your body sleeps, your brain is quite actively playing the part of mental janitor: It’s clearing out all of the junk that has accumulated as a result of your daily thinking.

Signal found to enhance survival of new brain cells

A specialized type of brain cell that tamps down stem cell activity ironically, perhaps, encourages the survival of the stem cells' progeny, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Understanding how these new brain cells "decide" whether to live or die and how to behave is of special interest because changes in their activity are linked to neurodegenerative diseases.