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New compound treats both blindness, diabetes in animal studies

New compound treats both blindness, diabetes in animal studies

In a new study led by UC San Francisco (UCSF) scientists, a chemical compound designed to precisely target part of a crucial cellular quality-control network provided significant protection, in rats and mice, against degenerative forms of blindness and diabetes. Continue reading

Bacteria hijack plentiful iron supply source to flourish

Bacteria hijack plentiful iron supply source to flourish

In an era of increasing concern about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant illness, Case Western Reserve researchers have identified a promising new pathway to disabling disease: blocking bacteria’s access to iron in the body. The scientists showed how bacterial siderophore, a small molecule, captures iron from two abundant supply sources to fan bacterial growth — as well as how the body launches a chemical counterassault against this infection process. Their findings appear in a recent edition of The Journal of Experimental Medicine . Continue reading

Personality and heart attacks: A new look

Personality and heart attacks: A new look

A new study published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics has addressed the relationship between personality and heart attacks. Distressed (type D) personality (TDP), characterized by high negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI), along with depression, anxiety and other negative affects (such as demoralization, hopelessness, pessimism and rumination) have been implicated as potential risk factors for coronary artery disease Continue reading

Fruit fly research may reveal what happens in female brains during courtship, mating

Fruit fly research may reveal what happens in female brains during courtship, mating

What are the complex processes in the brain involved with choosing a mate, and are these processes different in females versus males? It’s difficult to study such questions in people, but researchers are finding clues in fruit flies that might be relevant to humans and other animals. Continue reading

Fighting parasitic infection inadvertently unleashes dormant virus

Fighting parasitic infection inadvertently unleashes dormant virus

Signals from the immune system that help repel a common parasite inadvertently can cause a dormant viral infection to become active again, a new study shows. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical significance of the finding, but researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said the study helps illustrate how complex interactions between infectious agents and the immune system have the potential to affect illness. Continue reading

False negative results found in prognostic testing for breast cancer

False negative results found in prognostic testing for breast cancer

A recent study evaluating HER2 testing in a large cohort of women with breast cancer found important limitations in the conventional way HER2 testing is performed in the US and internationally. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center physicians and researchers retested tumor samples from a large group of women and found that 22 out of 530 women had their tumor type incorrectly classified Continue reading

Blocking brain’s ‘internal marijuana’ may trigger early Alzheimer’s deficits, study shows

Blocking brain’s ‘internal marijuana’ may trigger early Alzheimer’s deficits, study shows

A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine has implicated the blocking of endocannabinoids — signaling substances that are the brain’s internal versions of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana and hashish — in the early pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. A substance called A-beta — strongly suspected to play a key role in Alzheimer’s because it’s the chief constituent of the hallmark clumps dotting the brains of people with Alzheimer’s — may, in the disease’s earliest stages, impair learning and memory by blocking the natural, beneficial action of endocannabinoids in the brain, the study demonstrates. Continue reading

Blocking brain’s ‘internal marijuana’ may trigger early Alzheimer’s deficits, study shows

Blocking brain’s ‘internal marijuana’ may trigger early Alzheimer’s deficits, study shows

A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine has implicated the blocking of endocannabinoids — signaling substances that are the brain’s internal versions of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana and hashish — in the early pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. A substance called A-beta — strongly suspected to play a key role in Alzheimer’s because it’s the chief constituent of the hallmark clumps dotting the brains of people with Alzheimer’s — may, in the disease’s earliest stages, impair learning and memory by blocking the natural, beneficial action of endocannabinoids in the brain, the study demonstrates. Continue reading

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old. The findings, published in the June 17, 2014 online issue of Translational Psychiatry , follow up on similar research published last year by senior author Robert K. Continue reading

Alcohol abuse damage in neurons at a molecular scale identified for first time

Alcohol abuse damage in neurons at a molecular scale identified for first time

Joint research between the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the University of Nottingham has identified, for the first time, the structural damage caused at a molecular level to the brain by the chronic excessive abuse of alcohol. Continue reading