Neurodegeneration

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Neurodegeneration

ALZHEIMER’S Disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting an estimated 30 million people worldwide. The cause of the condition is unknown, but the prime suspect is amyloid-beta (Aβ), a 42-amino acid peptide which accumulates within neurons to form insoluble structures called senile plaques that are thought to be toxic. Aβ is synthesized in…

Optogenetics is a newly developed technique based on a group of light-sensitive proteins called channelrhodopsins, which were isolated recently from various species of micro-organism. Although relatively new, this technique has already proven to be extremely powerful, because channelrhodopsins can be targeted to specific cells, so that their activity can be controlled by light, on a…

Alzheimer’s recapitulates brain development

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 400,000 people in the U.K. and some 5.5 million in the U.S. The disease has a characteristic pathology, which often appears first in the hippocampus, and then spreads to other regions of the brain. This is accompanied by impairments in cognition, with cell…

Aging brains lose their connections

Healthy aging is characterized by a gradual decline in cognitive function. Mental processes such as attention, memory and the ability to process information are at their peak when people are in their 30s and 40s, but as we get older, we find it increasingly difficult to focus on relevant information and to recall the names…

National Library of Medicine / Hot Medical News This silent film clip shows several victims of a disease called kuru. They are – or rather were – members of the South Fore, a tribe of approximately 8,000 people who inhabit the Okapa subdistrict of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. In the 1950s…

A team of researchers from Harvard and Columbia University Medical Center have reprogrammed skin cells from an 82-year-old woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to generate first stem cells and then motor neurons. This is a significant advance which could aid in the development of drug treatments and cell replacement therapies for the condition and…

This three-dimensional reconstruction of an amyloid fibril (found at Discover) was created by Nikolaus Grigorieff and his colleagues at Brandeis University, by computer processing of a transmission electron cryomicroscopy image. It is the most detailed image yet of the abnormally folded protein which accumulates to form the senile plaques that are a pathological hallmark of…

A new study, published today in the open access journal PLoS One, provides evidence that remaining mentally active throughout life reduces the rate of age-related neurodegeneration and may therefore stave off Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

Alois Alzheimer’s first case

On November 4th, 1906, during a lecture at the 37th Conference of South-West German Psychiatrists in Tubingen, the German neuropathologist and psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915, right) described “eine eigenartige Erkrankung der Hirnrinde” (a peculiar disease of the cerebral cortex). In the lecture, he dicussed “the case of a patient who was kept under close observation…