Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a genetic variation associated with an earlier age of onset in Alzheimer's disease.
Unlike genetic mutations previously linked to rare, inherited forms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease — which can strike people as young as their 30s or 40s — these variants influence an earlier presentation of symptoms in people affected by the more common, late-onset form of the disease.
New Brunswick, NJ--Scientists have been aware for many years that if cancer patients are not able to deal with the stress associated with being sick, the cancer will progress faster than in calmer patients. To counteract this phenomenon, physicians encourage treatments that help cancer patients handle their stress. Scientists theorized that the stress relief may have come as a result of increased beta-endorphin peptide (BEP), the "feel good" hormones in the brain that are released during exercise, a good conversation, and many other aspects of life that give humans pleasure.
Boosting the level of a specific brain protein quickly cut excessive drinkingof alcohol in a new animal study, and also prevented relapse -- the common tendency found in sober alcoholics to easily return to heavy drinking after just one glass.
In addition, the treatment did not block other "pleasure-seeking behaviors" -- in this case, craving sweets. Interference with these normal behaviors has been a problem with drugs developed for alcoholism treatment. Nor did the brain chemical boost appear to carry any side effects, the study researchers report.
Alcoholism is a devastating disease in part because of the 'symptom' of heavy drinking but more so due to the extensive harm it causes physical organs, such as the heart and liver, as well as damage to an individual's psychosocial well-being that decreases quality of life.
Remarkably, and for the first time, addiction experts led by a University of Virginia Health System team report the results of a clinical trial whereby an effective therapeutic medication, topiramate, not only decreases heavy drinking but also diminishes the physical and psychosocial harm caused by alcohol dependence.
Treatment with high doses of the immunosuppressant drug cyclophosphamide appears to reduce disease activity and disability in individuals with aggressive multiple sclerosis, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the August 2008 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Smoking appears to be associated with increased risk of poor memory among middle-age adults, according to a report in the June 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
A recent meta-analysis concluded that smoking is a risk factor for dementia, according to background information in the article. However, research regarding the link between smoking and cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) function is difficult in older adults because many study participants do not return for follow-up visits or die of smoking-related diseases.
Biometrics is commonly associated retinal scans, iris recognition and DNA databases, but researchers in India are working on another form of biometrics that could allow law enforcement agencies and airport security to recognize suspects based on the way they were, their characteristic gait. The team reveals details of a comprehensive framework for gait recognition by computer in the inaugural issue of the Inderscience publication, the International Journal of Biometrics.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Researchers studying embryonic stem cells have explored the first fork in the developmental road, getting a new look at what happens when fertilized eggs differentiate to build either an embryo or a placenta.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) robs the brain of a protein that plays a major role in the way neurons communicate and that is essential for brain development, learning and memory.
Scientists report that a protein associated with a common form of mental retardation plays an important role in intracellular trafficking within neurons. The research, published by Cell Press in the June issue of the journal Developmental Cell, reveals new information about how neuronal communication and plasticity are affected in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS).