Only a small proportion of cases of dementia are thought to be inherited – the cause of the vast majority is unknown. Now, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, a team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Cambridge believe they may have found an explanation: spontaneous errors in our DNA that arise as cells divide and replicate.
The sex of a baby controls the level of small molecules known as metabolites in the pregnant mother’s blood, which may explain why risks of some diseases in pregnancy vary depending whether the mother is carrying a boy or a girl, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.
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 brain network previously associated with daydreaming has been found to play an important role in allowing us to perform tasks on autopilot. Scientists at the University of Cambridge showed that far from being just ‘background activity’, the so-called ‘default mode network’ may be essential to helping us perform routine tasks.
A new study into the genetics underlying restless legs syndrome has identified 13 previously-unknown genetic risk variants, while helping inform potential new treatment options for the condition.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a new statistical model which estimates kidney function in patients with cancer. This is the most accurate model for estimating kidney function yet developed and should help cancer specialists treat their patients more safely and improve the accuracy of chemotherapy dosing. The model is now available free online.
Cocaine addiction may affect how the body processes iron, leading to a build-up of the mineral in the brain, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. The study, published today in Translational Psychiatry, raises hopes that there may be a biomarker – a biological measure of addiction – that could be used as a target for future treatments.
Researchers have identified a series of genetic variants that affect the severity of Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease – but surprisingly, none of these variants appear to be related to an individual’s risk of developing the condition in the first place.
Anti-inflammatory drugs similar to those used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis could in future be used to treat some cases of depression, concludes a review led by the University of Cambridge, which further implicates our immune system in mental health disorders.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have taken the first step towards developing a new form of treatment for type 1 diabetes which, if successful, could mean an end to the regular insulin injections endured by people affected by the disease, many of whom are children.