neurodegenerative diseases

Patients, Caregivers Asked to Help Adira in Choosing Grant Awards

The Adira Foundation is inviting people with neurodegenerative diseases and their caregivers to join a grant proposal review committee. A nonprofit foundation, its mission is to unite people affected by some of most common neurodegenerative diseases — namely, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and…

MS Patients Have More Aluminum Content in Their Brains Than Those Without Neurodegenerative Conditions, Study Finds

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological diseases have a significantly higher aluminum content in their brains than those with no known neurological impairment and no identifiable neurodegenerative disease, a recent study found. The research further supports a role of aluminum in the development of these brain conditions,…

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Wins 2020 ‘Buzz of BIO’ Award

For its promising investigational therapeutic approach to neurodegenerative diseases, including progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics is the Buzz of BIO 2020 winner in the Public Therapeutic Biotech category. The Buzz of BIO contest identifies U.S. companies with groundbreaking, early-stage potential to improve lives. The…

SARM1 Inhibitors Protect Neurons from Damage in Mice and Cell Cultures, Results Presented at Neuroscience 2019 Show

SARM1 inhibitors are a potential oral treatment to slow disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), according to preclinical results that show the inhibitors protect nerve cells from damage in mice and cell cultures. Researchers at Disarm Therapeutics presented the findings in a poster titled “…

#AAN2018 – Biogen Data Covers Work into an MS Blood Biomarker, Cognition and Life Quality

Research that points to a potential blood biomarker of multiple sclerosis (MS) severity, relates cognitive difficulties to patients’ employment and other measures of socioeconomic status, and one-year results of an ongoing clinical trial are among data presentations planned by Biogen for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). This year’s…

Columbia University Researchers Record Action of Receptor Linked to Neurodegenerative Diseases

The neurotransmitter glutamate triggers most brain signals by activating proteins on the surface of neurons called glutamate receptors. Columbia University Medical Center researchers have taken the first 3D images of the AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors involved in several brain activities, including memory and learning. By increasing scientists' understanding of how the receptors work, the images could offer insight into the role that faulty receptors play in the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. And that insight could lead to therapies. “With our new findings, we can now, for the first time, visualize how the neurotransmitter glutamate opens glutamate receptor ion channels,” Dr. Alexander Sobolevsky, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Columbia, said in a news release. “This is the fundamental process that directly affects learning and memory, and finding its structural determinants has been the primary goal of molecular neuroscience since the ‘90s," added Sobolevsky, the senior author of the study. For the brain to work properly, neurons need to communicate with each other. To do that, they use neurotransmitters, small compounds that pass from one cell to a receptor on another cell. Glutamate is the neurotransmitter involved in many of these communications, and glutamate receptors are the structures that gather up many of the signals. Several types of glutamate receptors participate in cognitive functions. AMPA receptors – a subgroup of glutamate receptors – are known for their fast activity, opening and closing in less than a millisecond. Because they work so fast, they are involved in rapid brain responses, such as rapid perception and reaction to the surrounding environment. For years, researchers have tried to understand how AMPA receptors work. In previous studies, Sobolevsky's team learned how the receptors regulated both the speed and strength of cell communications. In the recent study, the researchers used advanced imaging techniques developed by Dr. Joachim Frank to record the actions of the AMPA receptors. Frank, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, and biological sciences, was a co-author of the study. The images showed that AMPA receptors open in the presence of glutamate or a similar signaling compound. The mechanism can be compared to a camera’s iris, or aperture. The signaling particles pass through the opening, triggering electrical signals necessary for brain activity. “These new fundamental discoveries have implications for our understanding of neurotransmission by glutamate, our brain’s major neurotransmitter,” said Edward C. Twomey, a Ph.D. candidate who was the first author of the study. “Understanding these processes will impact future studies on glutamate receptor signaling in neurodegenerative diseases as well as drug design.”

Astrocytes Can Turn Aggressive and Kill Neurons, Potentially Groundbreaking Study Says

In what may be one of the most significant discoveries in neurodegenerative disease, researchers have found that brain cells, called astrocytes, contribute to killing neurons and myelin-forming oligodendrocyte cells, which may drive neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Experiments indicate an aggressive astrocyte type kills cells by secreting a yet-unidentified…

Earlier Detection, Timely Treatment for MS, Parkinson’s Possible with Virtual Reality Tool

Scientists at Russia’s Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and Siberian State Medical University (SSMU), both in Tomsk, have developed a diagnosis system for neurodegenerative diseases in the early stages. The system uses virtual reality (VR) technology to immerse a subject in a virtual environment during functional tests designed to detect early symptoms of…

Mitochon Raises $1.6M to Begin Clinical Tests of Mitochondrial Modulators for MS

Mitochon Pharmaceuticals announced the completion of a second year of financing, raising a total $1.6 million to advance its lead compound, MP101, a mitochondrial targeted neuro-protective agent, into clinical testing. The company is developing mitochondrial modulators for patients with neurodegenerative diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to multiple sclerosis (MS). A number of studies have…

$185M Gift to UCSF Will Support New Neurosciences Institute

A gift worth $185 million from Joan and Sanford I. Weill to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) will allow the university to expand its neurosciences programs and facilities, advancing its research work into psychiatric, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). The gift, the largest single donation in UCSF history, is…

Resistance Training in Ms Patients Found to Improve Hip Strength, Walking Ability

Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine released preliminary results of an ongoing study into an effective and progressive resistance training program to improve hip strength and walking ability, areas of concern in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). The program, consisting of exercises using resistant…

MS Nerve Degeneration Triggered by Chain Reaction in Cells

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently discovered that a small molecule triggers the destruction of axons, a phenomenon observed in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is titled “Wallerian Degeneration Is Executed by an NMN-SARM1-Dependent Late Ca2+ Influx but Only Modestly Influenced by Mitochondria” and appears in the journal…