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Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter

Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter

Everything we do — all of our movements, thoughts and feelings — are the result of neurons talking with one another, and recent studies have suggested that some of the conversations might not be all that private. Brain cells known as astrocytes may be listening in on, or even participating in, some of those discussions. Continue reading

Cancer drugs block dementia-linked brain inflammation, study finds

Cancer drugs block dementia-linked brain inflammation, study finds

A class of drugs developed to treat immune-related conditions and cancer — including one currently in clinical trials for glioblastoma and other tumors — eliminates neural inflammation associated with dementia-linked diseases and brain injuries, according to UC Irvine researchers. In their study, assistant professor of neurobiology & behavior Kim Green and colleagues discovered that the drugs, which can be delivered orally, eradicated microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain. These cells exacerbate many neural diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as brain injury Continue reading

Cancer drugs block dementia-linked brain inflammation, study finds

Cancer drugs block dementia-linked brain inflammation, study finds

A class of drugs developed to treat immune-related conditions and cancer — including one currently in clinical trials for glioblastoma and other tumors — eliminates neural inflammation associated with dementia-linked diseases and brain injuries, according to UC Irvine researchers. In their study, assistant professor of neurobiology & behavior Kim Green and colleagues discovered that the drugs, which can be delivered orally, eradicated microglia, the primary immune cells of the brain. These cells exacerbate many neural diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as brain injury. Continue reading

Researchers examine metabolism in defective cells

Researchers examine metabolism in defective cells

UAlberta researchers are taking a closer look at how two metabolic pathways interact to increase the lifespan of cells with mitochondrial defects. Magnus Friis (PhD ’10) is the lead author of the study, which was published online on April 10 and will be published in the April 24 issue of Cell Reports. Mitochondria produce energy for cells through oxidative metabolism, but the process produces toxic byproducts that can accumulate and cause defects in the cell’s mitochondria Continue reading

Protein researchers closing in on the mystery of schizophrenia

Protein researchers closing in on the mystery of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe disease for which there is still no effective medical treatment. In an attempt to understand exactly what happens in the brain of schizophrenic people, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have analysed proteins in the brains of rats that have been given hallucinogenic drugs. This may pave the way for new and better medicines. Continue reading

Blocking DNA repair mechanisms could improve radiation therapy for deadly brain cancer

Blocking DNA repair mechanisms could improve radiation therapy for deadly brain cancer

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated in both cancer cell lines and in mice that blocking critical DNA repair mechanisms could improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for highly fatal brain tumors called glioblastomas. Radiation therapy causes double-strand breaks in DNA that must be repaired for tumors to keep growing Continue reading

Patients with paraplegia regain voluntary movement after spinal stimulation

Patients with paraplegia regain voluntary movement after spinal stimulation

Four people with paraplegia are able to voluntarily move previously paralyzed muscles as a result of a novel therapy that involves electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The participants, each of whom had been paralyzed for more than two years, were able to voluntarily flex their toes, ankles, and knees while the stimulator was active, and the movements were enhanced over time when combined with physical rehabilitation. Researchers involved in the study say the therapy has the potential to change the prognosis of people with paralysis even years after injury. Continue reading

Gene sequencing project discovers mutations tied to deadly brain tumors in young children

Gene sequencing project discovers mutations tied to deadly brain tumors in young children

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified new mutations in pediatric brain tumors known as high-grade gliomas (HGGs), which most often occur in the youngest patients Continue reading

Gene sequencing project discovers mutations tied to deadly brain tumors in young children

Gene sequencing project discovers mutations tied to deadly brain tumors in young children

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified new mutations in pediatric brain tumors known as high-grade gliomas (HGGs), which most often occur in the youngest patients Continue reading

Prognosis of tumors positive for human papilloma virus in head and neck cancers varies according to site

Prognosis of tumors positive for human papilloma virus in head and neck cancers varies according to site

Patients with cancer of the throat and who are positive for the Human Papilloma virus (HPV+) have a good prognosis, but until now the effect of being HPV+ on the prognosis of tumours located elsewhere in the head and neck was unknown. Danish researchers have now shown that HPV status appears to have no prognostic effect on the outcome of primary radiotherapy in head and neck cancer outside the oropharynx (the part of the throat located behind the mouth, and which contains the soft palate and the base of the tongue), the ESTRO 33 congress will hear today (Sunday). Presenting her results to the congress, Dr Pernille Lassen, MD, PhD, from the Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, will say that head and neck cancers located outside the oropharynx should probably not be treated with the less intensive treatment strategies that are currently being investigated in clinical trials for HPV+ oropharyngeal tumours. Continue reading