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.

Read more

NEI researchers link age-related DNA modifications to susceptibility to eye disease

National Eye Institute (NEI) researchers profiling epigenomic changes in light-sensing mouse photoreceptors have a clearer picture of how age-related eye diseases may be linked to age-related changes in the regulation of gene expression. The findings, published online April 21 in Cell Reports, suggest that the epigenome could be targeted as a therapeutic strategy to prevent leading causes of vision loss, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Read more

Researchers discover how cells clear misfolded proteins from tissues

Researchers in Japan have identified a new quality control system that allows cells to remove damaged and potentially toxic proteins from their surroundings. The study, which will be published February 18 in the Journal of Cell Biology, finds that the Clusterin protein and heparan sulfate proteoglycans combine to bring misfolded proteins into cells for degradation. The findings may lead to new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more

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.

Read more

Penn Medicine Researchers Receive $9.7 Million NIH Grant to Study Traumatic Brain Injuries and Neurodegeneration

An international team of experts led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Glasgow has been awarded a $9.7 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and National Institute for Aging (NIA) to establish CONNECT-TBI—a program spanning 12 institutions which will study traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related neurodegenerative diseases.

Read more