Tag Archives: motor neurons

People with ALS May Benefit From More Glucose

A new study led by scientists at the UA has uncovered a potential new way to treat patients with ALS, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease.

Increased glucose, transformed into energy, could give people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, improved mobility and a longer life, according to new findings by a University of Arizona-led research team. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Jo Varner, Biologist

Jo Varner, University of Utah biology doctoral student, is currently conducting research on how small mammals like Pikas are coping with Earth’s warming climate. Her study is concentrated on Pikas in the Columbia River Gorge area in the U.S, which is an unusual habitat for this species. Recently we had the opportunity to talk to Miss Varner about her research, why it is important and how life as a research scientist is. Here is what we learned from Miss Jo Varner:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Jo Varner: Glad to talk with you! Broadly, I am interested in how climate change is impacting animals, particularly in sensitive environments like the high mountains. Specifically, I am working with American pikas, which are a small mammal closely related to rabbits. Pikas are typically restricted to high elevation mountains in western North America. They appear to be very sensitive to climate change in parts of their range, but in other parts they seem to be less vulnerable. (more…)

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MU Researchers Find New Insight into Fatal Spinal Disease

*Discovery could lead to treatments for muscular dystrophy and ALS*

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Researchers at the University of Missouri have identified a communication breakdown between nerves and muscles in mice that may provide new insight into the debilitating and fatal human disease known as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

“Critical communication occurs at the point where nerves and muscles ‘talk’ to each other. When this communication between nerves and muscles is disrupted, muscles do not work properly,” said Michael Garcia, associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Science and the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.  “In this study, we found that delivery of ‘the words’ a nerve uses to communicate with muscles was disrupted before they arrived at the nerve ending.” (more…)

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