Tag Archives: alzheimer’s disease

Curcumin improves memory and mood, new UCLA study says

Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin — the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color — improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers. (more…)

Read More

Major cause of blindness linked to calcium deposits in the eye

Microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate have been linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness, by UCL-led research.

AMD affects 1 in 5 people over 75, causing their vision to slowly deteriorate, but the cause of the most common form of the disease remains a mystery.* The ability to spot the disease early and reliably halt its progression would improve the lives of millions, but this is simply not possible with current knowledge and techniques. (more…)

Read More

UCLA to develop ‘brain prosthesis’ to help brain-injured patients recover memory

As part of a major federal initiative, UCLA has been awarded $15M to create a wireless, implantable device that could restore memory to millions

UCLA has been tapped by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to spearhead an innovative project aimed at developing a wireless, implantable brain device that could help restore lost memory function in individuals who have suffered debilitating brain injuries and other disorders. (more…)

Read More

Protein interplay in muscle tied to life span

Brown University biologists have uncovered a complicated chain of molecular events that leads from insulin to protein degradation in muscles and significantly diminished life span in fruit flies. The new study in PLoS Genetics, which may have broad implications across species, identifies the fly version of the mammalian protein activin as the central culprit in the process.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Fruit flies are notoriously short-lived but scientists interested in the biology of aging in all animals have begun to understand why some fruit flies live longer than others. They have documented a direct association between insulin and life span, for example, and have observed a tradeoff between prolific reproduction and longevity. A new study, which may have broad implications across species, ties those findings more closely together by tracing an insulin signaling cascade through to protein quality control in muscle tissue and shortened life span. (more…)

Read More

Natural Compound Mitigates Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse, University of Missouri Researchers Find

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Studies have shown that resveratrol, a natural compound found in colored vegetables, fruits and especially grapes, may minimize the impact of Parkinson’s disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease in those who maintain healthy diets or who regularly take resveratrol supplements. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that resveratrol may also block the effects of the highly addictive drug, methamphetamine.

Dennis Miller, associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts & Science and an investigator with the Bond Life Sciences Center, and researchers in the Center for Translational Neuroscience at MU, study therapies for drug addiction and neurodegenerative disorders. Their research targets treatments for methamphetamine abuse and has focused on the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in drug addiction.  Dopamine levels in the brain surge after methamphetamine use; this increase is associated with the motivation to continue using the drug, despite its adverse consequences. However, with repeated methamphetamine use, dopamine neurons may degenerate causing neurological and behavioral impairments, similar to those observed in people with Parkinson’s disease. (more…)

Read More

Question: Do your legs know what your tongue is doing?

UCLA researchers build a multisensory virtual world

To survive, animals must explore their world to find the necessities of life. It’s a complex task, requiring them to form them a mental map of their environment to navigate the safest and fastest routes to food and water. They also learn to anticipate when and where certain important events, such as finding a meal, will occur.

Understanding the connection between these two fundamental behaviors, navigation and the anticipation of a reward, had long eluded scientists because it was not possible to simultaneously study both while an animal was moving.  (more…)

Read More

UW work contributes to largest international study of Alzheimer’s genes

Eleven regions of the human genome have been newly discovered to influence the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings stem from the largest international study ever conducted on this disorder, which causes gradual memory loss and other forms of cognitive decline in older people.

As of 2009, 10 genes were known to be related to Alzheimer’s, the result of about a quarter-century of research. Yet the reasons behind individual susceptibility or resistance to the disease continued to be poorly understood.  In February of 2011, four international research groups studying Alzheimer’s disease genetics united to more quickly identify other genes related to the disorder. (more…)

Read More

Mind over mechanics

How thoughts can control a flying robot

It’s a staple of science fiction: people who can control objects with their minds.

At the University of Minnesota, a new technology is turning that fiction into reality.

In the lab of biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring. (more…)

Read More