New studies identify brain changes in people with Alzheimer's disease. The results give researchers a greater understanding of the disease and may help at-risk individuals by improving early detection.
New animal research also shows a novel approach to Alzheimer's vaccine design that may avoid dangerous side effects. These new results were reported at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.
About 5.3 million people have Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. With the aging baby boomer population, Alzheimer's will continue to affect more people worldwide. Better diagnostic techniques may help identify the disease at earlier, potentially more treatable stages.
Today's new findings show that:
People with Alzheimer's disease show structural changes in the caudate nucleus, a brain structure typically associated with movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, suggesting that the disease produces broader damage in the brain than previously thought (Sarah Madsen, abstract 348.4, see attached summary).
People at risk for Alzheimer's disease exhibit a structural change in portions of the cerebral cortex, which is largely responsible for reasoning, memory and other "higher function" tasks. The findings may help identify those who would most benefit from early intervention (Sarah George, abstract 756.9, see attached summary).
A new vaccine, which was tested in mice, could protect against memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease without potentially dangerous side effects. The vaccine targeted a non-human protein that may make it a safer alternative to previous vaccine approaches that caused inflammation in human clinical trials (Charles Glabe, PhD, abstract 725.6, see attached summary).
Too many small aggregates of a protein called tau in the brain can directly interfere with memory, according to new animal research. The findings are important because they suggest that tau may be a good target for developing therapies against Alzheimer's and related diseases (Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD, abstract 527.8, see attached summary).
"Identifying those at risk for Alzheimer's and developing new treatments for nervous system disorders is a social imperative," said press conference moderator Sam Sisodia, PhD, of the University of Chicago, an expert on the cellular biology of proteins implicated in Alzheimer's disease. "These studies are evidence that we're making real progress to overcome this tragic epidemic."
This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.
Kat Snodgrass | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy