News Archives ⋆ Phytocopeia

Biochemists discover new insights into what may go awry in brains of Alzheimer’s patients

Three decades of research on Alzheimer’s disease have not produced major treatment advances for patients. Researchers now report new insights that may lead to progress in fighting the devastating disease. They discovered beta amyloid has a specific amino acid that can form a kink, like a kink in a garden hose, creating a harmful molecular zipper and leading to the death of neurons.

Robotic neck brace dramatically improves functions of ALS patients

A robotic brace that supports the neck during its natural motion is the first device shown to dramatically assist ALS patients in holding their heads and actively supporting them during range of motion. The brace should improve patients’ quality of life, not only in improving eye contact during conversation, but also in facilitating the use of eyes as a joystick to control movements on a computer, much as scientist Stephen Hawkins did.

Smoldering spots in the brain may signal severe MS

Aided by a high-powered brain scanner and a 3D printer, researchers peered inside the brains of hundreds of multiple sclerosis patients and found that dark rimmed spots representing ongoing, ‘smoldering’ inflammation, called chronic active lesions, may be a hallmark of more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease.

A genetic chaperone for healthy aging?

Researchers have identified an epigenetic mechanism that appears to strongly influence healthy aging. It’s a protein that controls muscle integrity, lifespan and levels of an essential sugar. How does one protein have that much power?