Lithium may prevent brain damage in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Lithium profoundly prevents brain damage associated with Parkinson’s disease — Buck Institute research in mice moves into preclinical stage; working toward human trials – Researcher are focusing on lithium as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease — PD — as well as its efficacy in combination with drugs currently used to control the symptoms of the disease. Lithium profoundly prevents the aggregation of toxic proteins and cell loss associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in a mouse model of the condition.

Abdominal fat at middle age linked to dementia

Abdominal fat at middle age associated with greater risk of dementia — Study confirms that obesity is associated with lower total brain volume – Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine determined that excess abdominal fat places otherwise healthy, middle-aged people at risk for dementia later in life. Preliminary findings suggest a relationship between obesity and dementia that could lead to promising prevention strategies in the future.

Leptin sensitizing agents may help to lose weight

Obesity: Reviving the promise of leptin; The first known leptin-sensitizing agents induce mice to lose weight. – The discovery more than a decade ago of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone secreted by fat tissue, generated headlines and great hopes for an effective treatment for obesity. But hopes dimmed when it was found that obese people are unresponsive to leptin due to development of leptin resistance in the brain. Now, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston report the first agents demonstrated to sensitize the brain to leptin: oral drugs that are already FDA-approved and known to be safe. Findings were published January 7 by the journal Cell Metabolism.

Genetic disease recreated in lab

US researchers watched genetic diseases unfolding in the laboratory after finding a way to make large numbers of affected cells. – When neurons started dying in Clive Svendsen’s lab dishes, he couldn’t have been more pleased. The dying cells ? the same type lost in patients with the devastating neurological disease spinal muscular atrophy ? confirmed that the University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell biologist had recreated the hallmarks of a genetic disorder in the lab, using stem cells derived from a patient.

Xenazine approved for treatment of chorea in Huntington’s Disease

Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea i.e. jerky, involuntary movements in people with Huntington?s disease. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea in people with Huntington’s disease. Chorea is the jerky, involuntary movement that occurs in people with this disease.

Brain maps to assist disease diagnosis, brain surgery

Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne are developing new technology to create individualised brain maps that will revolutionise diagnosis of disease and enhance the accuracy of brain surgery. – Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne are developing new technology to create individualised brain maps that will revolutionise diagnosis of disease like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease, and enhance the accuracy of brain surgery.

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