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Alzheimer's Disease

By duplicating the interaction between divisions in the brain responsible for long-term me...

Using electrical probes embedded into the brains of rats, scientists have managed to replicate the brain function associated with long-term behavior and found a way to literally turn memories on and off with the flip of a switch. The scientists hope their research will eventually lead to a neural prosthesis to help people suffering Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of stroke or other brain injury to recover long-term memory capability.  Read More

A new tool for researching neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's takes its inspir...

In order to detect the presence of nearby females, the male silk moth utilizes an oily coating on his antennae. Any female pheromone molecules that are in the air will stick to that coating, which then guides them through nanotunnels in the insect's exoskeleton, and ultimately to nerve cells that alert Mr. Moth to the fact that there are ladies in the area. It's a clever enough system that scientists from the University of Michigan have copied it, in hopes of better understanding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.  Read More

Scientists have for the first time created "super twisted" light which can be used for more effective disease and virus identification. The process involves polarizing a light beam to create a kind of light corkscrew, then reflecting it off a gold surface to twist the vortex even tighter. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two conditions now being examined using this new technique.  Read More

Alzheimer's breakthrough - diagnosis in minutes

Finland's VTT has developed a rapid image analysis method to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease in just a few minutes. The accuracy of the analysis is comparable to manual measurements made by skilled professionals, which are currently considered the most reliable method for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. The accurate and rapid analysis method is well suited for clinical use.  Read More

Researchers have discovered that higher levels of magnesium in rats enhanced their learnin...

Your mother was right – eating your “greens” (which contain magnesium) is good for you. In fact, according to neuroscientists at MIT and Tsinghua University in Beijing, rats who were fed a new compound that increased their brain magnesium demonstrated enhanced learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory. The dietary supplement also boosted older rats’ ability to perform a variety of learning tests. Great, if it’s not hard enough getting rid of the rodents now, imagine trying to remove smarter rats!  Read More

Alzheimer’s Disease: new research offers hope

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, the insidious fatal disease which slowly kills all your brain cells. Already the seventh leading cause of death in the US, it is soon to reach epidemic levels as the boomers becomes senior citizens. There are more than 30 million people with dementia worldwide, but by 2050, this figure will increase to over 100 million. Two sets of findings released in the last few days bring hope that the accelerating research effort will find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, or prevent it from developing. Most significantly, a simple and inexpensive eye test could aid detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at an earlier stage than is currently possible and a “cocktail” of commonly available supplements has shown promise in improving memory and fighting Alzheimer’s.  Read More

Images of the brain of a transgenic mouse imaged with DEI in computed tomography mode.

A highly detailed x-ray imaging technique previously been used to examine tumors in breast tissue and cartilage in knee and ankle joints could used for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory are the first to test the technique’s ability to visualize a class of minuscule plaques that are a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease.  Read More

Scientists find marijuana reduces memory impairment

As difficult as some of our readers might find it to believe, researchers have found that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells. The research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. If you can’t wait for the drug to be developed, and don’t fancy coping with getting stoned every morning, Science Magazine has an interesting article about an alternative – dramatically reducing your calorific intake is also beneficial for memory.  Read More

Dr Stefan Przyborski, Durham University, with the molecule EC23, in a laboratory setting.

U.K. Scientists have designed, developed and tested new molecular tools for stem cell research to direct the formation of certain tissue types for use in drug development programmes. A collaborative team of scientists from Durham University and the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI) has developed two synthetic molecules which can be used to coax stem cells to ‘differentiate’ - that is, transform into other forms of tissue. Their use could also help reduce the number of animals used in laboratory research.  Read More

MRI of a brain with A.D. (left) and a normally aged brain
 Image credit: NASA

It is estimated that around 4.5 million people in the US are currently living with Alzheimer's and the disease is one of the leading causes of death, accounting for tens of thousands each year. There has been no definitive way of diagnosing the disease on living patients so doctors have had to rely on medical histories, administering physical exams, and neuropsychological assessments. Now, a team of researchers in Massachusetts has developed a way of examining brain tissue with near-infrared light to detect signs of Alzheimer's disease.  Read More

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