Scientists have identified the molecular mechanism that leads to the death of neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or motor neurone disease) and a common form of frontotemporal dementia.
Transmissible cancers are incredibly rare in nature, yet have arisen in Tasmanian devils on at least two separate occasions. New research from the University of Cambridge identifies key anti-cancer drugs which could be trialled as a treatment for these diseases, which are threatening Tasmanian devils with extinction.
The past few years has seen an explosion in the number of studies using organoids – so-called ‘mini organs’. While they can help scientists understand human biology and disease, some in the field have questioned their usefulness. But as the field matures, we could see their increasing use in personalised and regenerative medicine.
Scientists have shown in mice that skin cells re-programmed into brain stem cells, transplanted into the central nervous system, help reduce inflammation and may be able to help repair damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).
Adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have widespread learning and memory problems, according to research published today. The findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help they needed at school to realise their potential – including helping one individual go on to university.
Researchers have shown for the first time how children can inherit a severe – potentially fatal – mitochondrial disease from a healthy mother. The study, led by researchers from the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit at the University of Cambridge, reveals that healthy people harbour mutations in their mitochondrial DNA and explains how cases of severe mitochondrial disease can appear unexpectedly in previously unaffected families.
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer’s disease – and hence that blocking its spread may prevent the disease from taking hold.
A new and relatively simple technique for mapping the wiring of the brain has shown a correlation between how well connected an individual’s brain regions are and their intelligence, say researchers at the University of Cambridge.