World’s first: Drug guides stem cells to desired location, improving their ability to heal

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have created a drug that can lure stem cells to damaged tissue and improve treatment efficacy—a scientific first and major advance for the field of regenerative medicine. The discovery, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), could improve current stem cell therapies designed to treat such neurological disorders as spinal cord injury, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative disorders; and expand their use to new conditions, such as heart disease or arthritis.

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University of Minnesota, Van Andel Institute earn $6M to study aging’s role in Parkinson’s

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Sept. 21, 2020) — A collaborative team between the University of Minnesota Medical School and Van Andel Institute (VAI) will soon begin a $6.2 million study that seeks to define the molecular linkages between aging and Parkinson’s disease — an approach for new treatment targets not yet explored by many researchers. The group recently earned a three-year grant from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative, an international collaborative research effort partnering with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to implement its funding.

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Researchers make significant step toward blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a technique to detect minute amounts of a protein fragment linked to Alzheimer’s disease in the blood. The study, which will be published July 28 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), shows that levels of p-tau-217 are elevated during the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and could lead to a simple blood test capable of diagnosing the neurodegenerative disorder years before any symptoms begin to appear.

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Novel pathology could improve diagnosis and treatment of Huntington’s and other diseases

Bristol scientists have discovered a novel pathology that occurs in several human neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease.

The article, published in Brain Pathology, describes how SAFB1 expression occurs in both spinocerebellar ataxias and Huntington’s disease and may be a common marker of these conditions, which have a similar genetic background.

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It’s not just Alzheimer’s disease: Sanders-Brown research highlights form of severe dementia

The long-running study on aging and brain health at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Center has once again resulted in important new findings – highlighting a complex and under-recognized form of dementia.

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URI engineering professor helping ALS patients use their brains to communicate

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 25, 2020 – Doug Sawyer was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, 11 years ago. His only muscles that still function are those that control eye movement.Despite his disability, Sawyer still works as an engineer from his home, designing electronics for Hayward Industries.

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Protein Shapes Matter in Alzheimer’s Research

Even small changes may have big, long-term consequences. For amyloid beta peptides, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, a common chemical modification at a particular location on the molecule has a butterfly effect that leads to protein misfolding, aggregation and cellular toxicity.

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Reducing Early Brain Inflammation Could Slow Alzheimer’s Progression

In a new animal study examining Alzheimer’s disease, researchers found that disease progression could be slowed by decreasing neuroinflammation in the brain before memory problems and cognitive impairment were apparent.

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Scientists Discover New Clue Behind Age-Related Diseases and Food Spoilage

Berkeley Lab scientists have made a surprising discovery that could help explain our risk for developing chronic diseases or cancers as we get older, and how our food decomposes over time.

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Activating immune cells could revitalize the aging brain, study suggests

Researchers at Albany Medical College in New York have discovered that a specific type of immune cell accumulates in older brains, and that activating these cells improves the memory of aged mice. The study, which will be published February 5 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that targeting these cells might reduce age-related cognitive decline and combat aging-associated neurodegenerative disease in humans.

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