Why do we age when we get older? Epigenetics may hold the answer – but could it one day help us turn back the clock? Professor Wolf Reik from the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Dr Oliver Stegle from the European Bioinformatics Institute look at the ‘epigenetic clock’ in The Conversation.
A team of scientists who a few years ago identified a major pathway that leads to brain cell death in mice, have now found two drugs that block the pathway and prevent neurodegeneration. The drugs caused minimal side effects in the mice and one is already licensed for use in humans, so is ready for clinical trials.
The University of Cambridge has been announced as one of the centres that will form the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) alongside Cardiff University, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and King’s College London.
New imaging technique measures toxicity of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases23 Nov 2016
A new super-resolution imaging technique allows researchers to track how surface changes in proteins are related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
It's over a hundred years since the first case of Alzheimer’s disease was diagnosed. Since then we’ve learned a great deal about the protein ‘tangles’ and ‘plaques’ that cause the disease. How close are we to having effective treatments – and could we even prevent dementia from occurring in the first place?
A specific gene expression pattern maps out which parts of the brain are most vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease, decades before symptoms appear, and helps define the molecular origins of the disease.
Slow, slow, quick quick, slow: Scientists discover how proteins in the brain build up rapidly in Alzheimer’s disease18 Jul 2016
Cambridge researchers have identified – and shown that it may be possible to control – the mechanism that leads to the rapid build-up of the disease-causing ‘plaques’ that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
The UK has seen a 20% fall in the incidence of dementia over the past two decades, according to new research from England, led by the University of Cambridge, leading to an estimated 40,000 fewer cases of dementia than previously predicted. However, the study, published today in Nature Communications, suggests that the dramatic change has been observed mainly in men.
An approved anti-cancer drug successfully targets the first step in the toxic chain reaction that leads to Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that treatments may be found to lower the risk of developing the neurodegenerative condition.
The number of people with dementia – both new cases and total numbers with the disease – appears to be stabilising in some Western European countries despite populations ageing, in direct contrast to the ‘dementia epidemic’ reported in some recent studies. Professor Carol Brayne and Yu-tzu Wu from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health explore what this means.