Neurology

Chaperone proteins in human cells cooperate dynamically with α-Synuclein, a protein strongly associated with Parkinson’s disease. A disrupted relationship to these “bodyguards” leads to cell damage and the formation of Lewy bodies typical for Parkinson’s, researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum report. The assisting proteins, known as chaperones, are constantly protecting α-Synuclein in human… Read more

Researchers at the Salk Institute report the discovery of three cell types in the eye that detect light and align the brain’s circadian rhythm to our ambient light. The study[1] marks the first direct assessment in humans of light responses from these cells, called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), and the implications for health… Read more

Vasomotion, the spontaneous oscillation in tone of blood vessel walls, independent of heart beat, innervation or respiration, pushes the clearance of substances from the brain, investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found. The findings suggest that targeting and enhancing this process may promote prevention or treatment of amyloid-beta accumulation. In Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid-beta protein… Read more

Exposure to cadmium, a known human carcinogen, even at levels found in people who do not smoke cigarettes, leads to accelerated cognitive impairment, according to a new animal study. Those with genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, particularly males, are most vulnerable to the adverse health effects, the study suggests. “This heavy metal is bad… Read more

All neurodegenerative diseases have a common thread: the appearance of protein clumps in the brain such as amyloid-beta plaques in Alzheimer’s disease and alpha-synuclein aggregates in Parkinson’s. The root cause of this buildup has been hard to pinpoint, but Rockefeller scientists have identified a likely culprit that opens up a new avenue for developing treatments… Read more