Immune cells fill pockets in the outer layer of the meninges — the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord — where they sample cerebrospinal fluid as it washes out of the brain, a new study finds. If the cells detect signs of infection, disease, or injury, they are prepared to initiate an immune response to confront the problem, the researchers say. The findings1 open up the possibility of targeting immune cells at such surveillance sites as a means of treating conditions driven by brain inflammation.
A new neuroimaging study investigates how psychotherapy for people with PTSD changes the brain areas responsible for generating emotional responses to threats used. Trauma-focused psychotherapy is considered the best available treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the ways in which this method affects the brain to promote recovery from PTSD are not well understood. We know that psychotherapy works. But we don’t have a lot of good data to explain how it works, how the brain is changed by going through this process.
The signaling protein mTOR (Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) is a sensor for nutrients such as amino acids and sugars. When sufficient nutrients are available, mTOR boosts metabolism and ensures that sufficient energy and cellular building blocks are available. Since mTOR is a central switch for metabolism, errors in its activation lead to serious diseases. Cancers and developmental disorders of the nervous system leading to behavioral disorders and epilepsy can be the result if mTOR is malfunctioning.
Lack of a specific fatty acid in fat tissue can trigger the abnormal immune system response that causes multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking and damaging the central nervous system, according to a new study1. Fat tissue in patients diagnosed with MS were found to have abnormal levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found at high levels in cooking oils, meats (beef, chicken, and pork), cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, pasta, milk, olives, and avocados.
Gefitinib, sold under the brand name Iressa by AstraZeneca and Teva, is a medication used for certain breast, lung and other cancers. Gefitinib is an EGFR inhibitor, interrupting signaling through the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in target cells. As such, it is only effective in cancers with mutated and overactive EGFR, but resistances to gefitinib can arise through other mutations. Getfitinib Clinical Applications The FDA approved gefitinib in May 2003 for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Individuals who have the brain cancer type glioma are more likely to have antibodies to T. gondii, indicating that they have had a previous infection, compared to a similar group that was cancer free, new research1 has found. The results suggest that reducing exposure to this common food-borne pathogen could provide a modifiable risk factor for highly aggressive brain tumors in adults. Led by James Hodge, JD, MPH and Anna Coghill, Ph.
Survivors of stroke who no longer benefitted from conventional rehabilitation gained clinically significant arm movement and control by using an external robotic device powered by the patients’ own brains, a new study1 found. The work showed most patients kept the benefits for at least two months after the therapy sessions ended, suggesting the potential for long-lasting gains, said Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, director of the Non-Invasive Brain Machine Interface Systems Laboratory at the University of Houston.
There is a surprising connection between frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), two disorders of the nervous system, and the genetic mutation normally understood to cause Huntington’s disease, a study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health has discovered1. The finding potentially creates a new pathway for diagnosing and treating some individuals with FTD or ALS. Several neurological disorders have been linked to “repeat expansions,” a kind of mutation that results in abnormal repetition of certain DNA building blocks.