HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Does your brain shutdown with Alzheimer's?

FOR people with Alzheimer's disease, memories seem to leak away like the charge draining from a dying battery. The image is an apt one, because experiments on nerve cells suggest that as Alzheimer's takes hold, electrical charge may leak out of the brain cells, forcing them to "power down" and die, taking cherished memories with them.

The finding points to a new and unexpected mechanism for the way Alzheimer's disease damages the brain. And while the effect has yet to be demonstrated in living animals, there is tantalising evidence that drugs which block the effect could one day lead to new therapies for the condition.

Alzheimer's patients develop plaques in their brains when protein fragments called beta-amyloid clump together. When these plaques touch healthy brain cells, channels on the cell surface open up to let in a flood of calcium ions. This upsets the chemical balance of the cell, and it dies.

But it now turns out that another damaging process takes place that might help to kill off the cells. According to Vernon Ingram and a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the plaques appear to promote an additional flood of ions that destroys the potential difference that exists between the inside and the outside of a cell.

"Normal cells are negatively charged inside and positively charged on the outside," says Ingram. This potential difference across the cell membrane allows it to receive electrical signals from neighbouring cells. But Ingram's team found that when a plaque touches the cells, as well as positive calcium ions flooding in, negative chloride ions flow out, quickly draining the cell of its negative charge, just like a battery going dead.

Ingram, Barbara Blanchard and Veena Thomas added a special dye to cultures of human and rat nerve cells. The dye allows the researchers to measure the flow of ions, and hence the potential difference, across cell membranes. When they then added the amyloid pe
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-207-331-2751
New Scientist
12-Jun-2002


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Some brain cells change channels to fine-tune the message
2. First mouse model for multiple system atrophy points to new treatment targets for brain diseases
3. Can you read my mind? W.M. Keck Foundation funds innovative brain research at Carnegie Mellon
4. Scientist works on innovative treatments for brain tumors
5. Mechanism of RNA recoding: New twists in brain protein production
6. Does the college experience damage your brain?
7. Dartmouth researchers find where musical memories are stored in the brain
8. Common anesthetics appear safe for developing fetal brain
9. Breakthrough in medical research: New chemotherapy gives hope to brain tumour patients
10. New scale predicts recovery of consciousness from coma after brain injury
11. Study: Two brain systems regulate how we call for help

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/31/2020)... ... August 31, 2020 , ... ... to dental groups in the United States, today announced the grand opening of ... CA. , Patients will enjoy convenient hours, a comfortable office, and full-service ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Dr. Chang has over 20 years of ... developmental disabilities, as well as supporting staff in caring for patients and families. ... and staff development. She joined the company in 2015 as Chief of Clinical ...
(Date:8/28/2020)... ... August 28, 2020 , ... WHAT , Hespiro™ is ... with respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, while reducing the need for scarce mechanical ventilators. ... exhaled gas and scrubs it free of carbon dioxide in a completely closed ...
(Date:8/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 28, 2020 , ... ... role in advising Adventist Health on its investment in Synchronous Health, a tech-enabled ... company that combines the strength of human empathy with artificial intelligence (AI) to ...
(Date:8/27/2020)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... August 27, 2020 , ... ... continued to partner with Evolution Labs to provide their students with Suite360:Mental Health ... related to Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Child Trafficking Prevention. , Florida schools ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... ... September 01, 2020 , ... Breast and ovarian cancers ... Control (CDC), About 3% of breast cancers (about 7,500 women per year) and 10% ... BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Both genes are detectable in the Women’s Excellence Genetic ...
(Date:8/31/2020)... , ... August 31, 2020 , ... ... and advisory guide, has named Cloudticity a Gold winner in the 15th Annual ... and peer recogniti o ns from Network Products Guide honoring achievements ...
(Date:8/27/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 27, 2020 , ... Austin Oral ... – is pleased to announce Dr. David Szalay, DDS, MD, has joined the practice. ... patients in the new Pflugerville office, which is scheduled to open this fall. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: