Innovita Research Foundation

I.R.F. / Aging news / Diseases

This section overviews age related diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's etc.)

May 30, 2013 Exposure to Light at Night Accelerates Aging and Spontaneous Carcinogenesis in Mice
The alternation of the day and night seems is a most important regulator of a wide variety of physiological rhythms in living organisms. Exposure to the bright light during the night suppresses the night peak of melatonin – the "hormone of the night." Melatonin is a principal hormone of the pineal gland – the small neuroendocrine gland connected with the brain that mediates information on light from the retina of the eyes to the organism … [find out more >>]
May 25, 2013 Advancing Age and Telomere Uncapping in Arteries
Arterial telomere dysfunction may contribute to chronic arterial inflammation by inducing cellular senescence and subsequent senescence-associated inflammation. Though telomere shortening has been associated with arterial aging in humans, age-related telomere uncapping has not been described in non-cultured human tissues and may have substantial prognostic value. In skeletal muscle feed arteries from 104 younger, middle-aged, and older adults, scientists assessed the potential role of age-related telomere uncapping in arterial inflammation … [find out more >>]
April 18, 2013 Cord Blood Stem Cells VS Bone Marrow Stem Cells: Which Is Better in Cartilage Restoration?
Human joints are one of the body systems which is causing high discomfort when is obstructed or diseased. This is often associated with aging. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common rheumatic disease associated with imbalanced cartilage homeostasis, which could be corrected by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) therapy … [find out more >>]
June 27, 2012 Treatment of Muscle Mass Loss and Function in Aging Body
Sarcopenia, a critical loss of muscle mass and function because of the physiological process of aging, contributes to disability and mortality in older adults. It increases the incidence of pathologic fractures, causing prolonged periods of hospitalization and rehabilitation. The molecular mechanisms underlying sarcopenia are poorly understood, but recent evidence suggests that increased transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling contributes to impaired satellite cell function and muscle repair in aged skeletal muscle … [find out more >>]
June 25, 2012 Sarcopenia, Target for Anti-aging Therapies
Sarcopenia refers to age-related loss of muscle mass and function. Several age-related changes occur in skeletal muscle including a decrease in myofiber size and number and a diminished ability of satellite cells to activate and proliferate upon injury leading to impaired muscle remodeling. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sarcopenia are unknown, it is tempting to hypothesize that interplay between biological and environmental factors cooperate in a positive feedback cycle contributing to the progression of sarcopenia … [find out more >>]
February 27, 2012 Effect of Aging and Diabetes Mellitus on Nonenzymatic Glycation of Human Lens Crystallin
Scientists have examined the nonenzymatic glycation of human lens crystallin, an extremely long-lived protein, from 16 normal human ocular lenses 0.2-99 yr of age, and from 11 diabetic lenses 52-82-yr-old. The glucitol-lysine (Glc-Lys) content of soluble and insoluble crystallin was determined after reduction with H-borohydride followed by acid hydrolysis, boronic acid affinity chromatography, and high pressure cation exchange chromatography … [find out more >>]
February 24, 2012 Life Span of Beta-cells
Although many signaling pathways have been shown to promote beta-cell growth, surprisingly little is known about the normal life cycle of preexisting beta-cells or the signaling pathways required for beta-cell survival. Adult beta-cells have been speculated to have a finite life span, with ongoing adult beta-cell replication throughout life to replace lost cells. However, little solid evidence supports this idea. To more accurately measure adult beta-cell turnover, scientists performed … [find out more >>]
September 27, 2011 Liver, – the Multiplayer in Health and Disease
The liver lobule is formed by parenchymal cells, i.e., hepatocytes and nonparenchymal cells. In contrast to hepatocytes that occupy almost 80% of the total liver volume and perform the majority of numerous liver functions, nonparenchymal liver cells, which contribute only 6.5% to the liver volume, but 40% to the total number of liver cells, are localized in the sinusoidal compartment of the tissue. The walls of hepatic sinusoid are lined by three different cell types: sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC), Kupffer cells (KC), and hepatic stellate cells (HSC, formerly known as fat-storing cells, Ito cells, lipocytes, perisinusoidal cells, or vitamin A-rich cells) … [find out more >>]
July 26, 2011 Telomere Shortening Improves Alzheimer's Disease in Mice
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the elderly and advancing age is the major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease development. Telomere shortening represents one of the molecular causes of ageing that limits the proliferative capacity of cells, including neural stem cells. Studies on telomere lengths in patients with Alzheimer's disease have revealed contrary results and the functional role of telomere shortening on brain ageing and Alzheimer's disease is not known. Scientists have investigated the effects of telomere shortening on adult neurogenesis and Alzheimer's disease progression in mice … [find out more >>]
July 19, 2011 Ku Protein, t-circles and Cancer
ALT is a mechanism of telomere maintenance that is utilized by a portion of cancers, particularly in tissues of mesenchymal origin. Telomeres in ALT cells are heterogeneous in length due to rapid deletions and elongations, which are thought to occur through high rates of interchromosomal recombination including a process termed telomere sister chromatid exchange (T-SCE). Significantly, there is no increase in rates of general homologous recombination in these cells, suggesting that the mechanism of hyper-recombination is telomere-specific … [find out more >>]
May 25, 2011 Greater Intake of High-antioxidant Foods May Increase "Health Span" and Enhance Cognitive and Motor Function in Aging
Numerous studies have indicated that individuals consuming a diet containing high amounts of fruits and vegetables exhibit fewer age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Scientific research has suggested that dietary supplementation with fruit or vegetable extracts high in antioxidants (e.g. blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, and Concord grape juice) can decrease the enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs in aging and these reductions are expressed as improvements in behavior … [find out more >>]
March 3, 2011 Platelets Infused via the Portal Vein Promoted Liver Regeneration in Rats
Platelets play a fundamental role in hemostasis and are a natural source of growth factors. They circulate in the blood of mammals and are involved in hemostasis, leading to the formation of blood clots. Platelets release a multitude of growth factors including Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a potent chemotactic agent, and TGF beta, which stimulate the deposition of extracellular matrix. Both of these growth factors have been shown to play a significant role in the repair and regeneration of connective tissues … [find out more >>]
January 31, 2011 Caloric Restriction Improves Senescent Hearts
Approximately half of older patients with congestive heart failure have normal left ventricular (LV) systolic but abnormal LV diastolic function. In mammalian hearts, aging is associated with LV diastolic dysfunction. Caloric restriction (CR) is expected to retard cellular senescence and to attenuate the physiological decline in organ function … [find out more >>]
November 29, 2010 Fetal Liver Hepatocytes in Recovery of Liver Function
The use of cell transplantation as an alternative therapy for orthotopic liver transplantation has been widely anticipated due to a chronic donor shortage. In this study, scientists transplanted HPCs into the liver injury model mice to determine whether HPC transplantation may improve the liver dysfunction … [find out more >>]
October 25, 2010 Vaccine against Alzheimer's Disease?
A number of distinct beta-amyloid (Abeta) variants or multimers have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and antibodies recognizing such peptides are in clinical trials. Humans have natural Abeta-specific antibodies, but their diversity, abundance, and function in the general population remain largely unknown. Scientists demonstrated with peptide microarrays the presence of natural antibodies against known toxic Abeta and amyloidogenic non-Abeta species in plasma samples and cerebrospinal fluid of AD patients and healthy controls aged 21-89 years … [find out more >>]
October 8, 2010 Features of Fetal and Adult Cardiomyocytes
In the past years, cardiovascular progenitor cells have been isolated from the human heart and characterized. Up to date, no studies have been reported in which the developmental potential of foetal and adult cardiovascular progenitors was tested simultaneously. However, intrinsic differences will likely affect interpretations regarding progenitor cell potential and application for regenerative medicine … [find out more >>]
August 27, 2010 Bone Healing with PEG Hydrogel Membrane
The aims of scientific study were to test whether or not the application of an in situ-formed synthetic polyethylene glycol hydrogel (PEG) used as a biodegradable membrane for guided bone regeneration with a variety of graft materials and ambient oxygen or hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) environments would result in enhanced bone regeneration, and to observe the histologic and histomorphometric aspects of bone healing of the calvarial defects with and without a PEG membrane. For this purpose 30 adult, skeletally mature, male New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups of 10 animals each … [find out more >>]
July 29, 2010 Malignancy and Methylation in Prostate Tissues
News_Body Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among the aging male population but the mechanism underlying this association is unclear. Aberrant methylation of promoter CpG islands is associated with silencing of genes and age-dependent methylation of several genes has been proposed as a risk factor for sporadic cancer. Scientists examined the extent of gene methylation in pathologically normal human prostate as a function of age … [find out more >>]
July 28, 2010 DNA Methylation in Aging Causes Tissue-specific Dysregulation
The normal aging process is a complex phenomenon associated with physiological alterations in the function of cells and organs over time. Although an attractive candidate for mediating transcriptional dysregulation, the contribution of epigenetic dysregulation to these progressive changes in cellular physiology remains unclear … [find out more >>]
February 26, 2010 Cord Blood Cells Can Be Potent Players in Stroke Relief
In this study scientists tested whether intravenously infused HUCBC enter brain, survive, differentiate, and improve neurological functional recovery after stroke in rats. In addition, they tested whether ischemic brain tissue extract selectively induces chemotaxis of HUCBC in vitro. … [find out more >>]
February 26, 2010 Cord Blood Cells Show Oncosuppressive Features in Prostate Cancer
Stem cell transplantation to improve the onset and survival of animals or humans with prostate cancer has not been studied adequately. In this study, scientists examined whether intravenous administration of human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) mononuclear cells into TRAMP (transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate) mice can delay the onset of prostate cancer and improve survival of these mice before and after the development of cancer. … [find out more >>]
February 25, 2010 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Cord Blood Stem Cells
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a multifactor disease characterized by diffuse motor neuron degeneration, has proven to be a difficult target for stem cell therapy. The primary aim of this study was to determine the long-term effects of intravenous mononuclear human umbilical cord blood cells on disease progression in a well-defined mouse model of ALS. … [find out more >>]
January 29, 2010 Limbal Stem Cells, Immune Regulators and Novel Therapeutic Players
Stem cells have been demonstrated in nearly all adult mammalian tissues and play a vital role in their physiological renewal and healing after injury. Due to their irreplaceable role in tissue repair, these cells had to develop mechanisms protecting them from deleterious inflammatory immune reactions and ensuring their increased resistance to various apoptosis-inducing agents. … [find out more >>]
October 21, 2009 Very Small Embryonic-like Stem Cells in Acute Myocardial Infarction
This study sought to assess of the mobilization of nonhematopoietic very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) in acute myocardial infarction (MI). Acute MI induces mobilization of bone marrow stem cells. Recently, a rare population of VSELs, expressing markers of embryonic pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), was identified in adult murine bone marrow and human umbilical cord blood … [find out more >>]
October 20, 2009 Very Small Embryonic-like Stem Cells in Stroke Patients: Clinical Observation
In a murine model of stroke, scientists identified a population of very small embryonic-like (VSEL) stem cells (SCs) in adult murine bone marrow that could be mobilized into peripheral blood (PB). This raised the question of whether a similar population of cells is mobilized in human stroke patients. A number of cells that corresponded to VSEL SCs in the PB of 44 stroke patients and 22 age-matched controls was evaluated to answer that question … [find out more >>]
September 10, 2009 Cord Blood Cell Therapy for Metabolic Disorders
Sanfilippo syndrome type B (MPS III B) is caused by a deficiency of alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase enzyme (Naglu), leading to accumulation of heparan sulfate (HS), a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), within lysosomes and to eventual progressive cerebral and systemic multiple organ abnormalities. Treatment of MPS patients is mainly supportive and enzyme replacement cell therapy shows promise for treating this disease … [find out more >>]
February 13, 2008 Cell Aging is Important in the Pathogenesis of Osteoarthritis
The extracellular matrix of articular cartilage is the primary target of osteoarthritic cartilage degradation. However, cartilage cells have a pivotal role during osteoarthritis, as they are mainly responsible for the anabolic-catabolic balance required for matrix maintenance and tissue function … [find out more >>]
August 28, 2007 DNA Damage Repair in Aging
A diminished capacity to maintain tissue homeostasis is a central physiological characteristic of ageing. As stem cells regulate tissue homeostasis, depletion of stem cell reserves and/or diminished stem cell function has been postulated to contribute to ageing. It has further been suggested that accumulated DNA damage could be a principal mechanism underlying age-dependent stem cell decline … [find out more >>]
July 11, 2007 Remyelination Could be Suppressed by FGF2?
In multiple sclerosis lesions, remyelination typically fails with repeated or chronic demyelinating episodes and results in neurologic disability. Acute demyelination models in rodents typically exhibit robust spontaneous remyelination that prevents appropriate evaluation of strategies for improving conditions of insufficient remyelination … [find out more >>]
October 25, 2006 Self-Assembling Peptide Nanofiber Scaffold (SAPNS) and Regeneration
Here is described the creation of a permissive environment for axonal regrowth using a synthetic biological nanomaterial that self assembles in vivo, with components that break down into beneficial building blocks and produce no adverse effects on the CNS. This discovery allows for the reconnection of disconnected parts of the CNS after trauma. … [find out more >>]
June 6, 2006 Aging Induces Cardiac Dysfunction
The prevalence of heart failure is 70 times higher in persons aged 65 or older than in those aged 2034. Approximately 80% of hospital admissions for heart failure in the US involve patients aged > 65 years. Cardiac functional reserve declines with age and cardiac aging is a continuous and irreversible process that accounts for the most common cause of death in elderly people The aging heart displays left ventricular wall thickening and myocardial enlargement. Although interactions among advanced age, occult disease and physical inactivity have been considered in … [find out more >>]
March 28, 2006 Cathepsin F a Candidate for Adult-onset Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
Cathepsin F (cat F) is a widely expressed lysosomal cysteine protease whose in vivo role is unknown. The human genome contains 11 papain-family cysteine proteases, several of which have restricted tissue expression and specific, non redundant functions. Cathepsin F (cat F), known to have widespread tissue mRNA expression, is a relatively understudied member of this enzyme family. Cat F is unique among papain-type cathepsins due to an elongated N-terminal pro-region, which contains a cystatin-like domain attached with a flexible linker to the canonical papain-type catalytic domain. The enzyme contains a typical signal peptide and is found within the endosomal compartment of cells … [find out more >>]
August 19, 2005 Neurodegenerative Disorders and Dietary Interventions for Successful Brain Aging
While there are many examples of people who live for 100 years or more with little evidence of a decline in brain function, many others are not so fortunate and experience a neurodegenerative disorder, such as Alzheimer disease or Parkinson disease. Although an increasing number of genetic factors that may affect the risk for neurodegenerative disorders are being identified, emerging findings suggest that dietary factors play major roles in determining whether the brain ages successfully or experiences a neurodegenerative disorder … [find out more >>]
August 19, 2005 Direct Link to Neurodegeneration – Overeating
Neurodegenerative disorders are increasingly common as life expectancy increases. Effective means of preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer have been developed during the past 50 years, resulting in a striking increase in the number of persons older than 70 years of age. In addition to advances in the management of chronic disease, the demographic shift that resulted from altered birth rates in the 1940s and 1950s (leading to the "Baby Boomer" generation) has contributed to the increased number of older adults … [find out more >>]
August 16, 2005 Antioxidant Micronutrient Profile in Alzheimer's Disease, Stroke and Congestive Heart Failure
Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's Disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) share in common both aging as a major risk factor and oxidative stress as an important pathophysiological mechanism. Interestingly, an involvement of oxidative stress has been suggested in accelerated aging processes such as progeria and Werner syndromes, which are also associated with neurodegenerative processes. Collectively, there is enough evidence to suggest that oxidative damage plays an important role in brain dysfunction seen in dementias, especially in AD … [find out more >>]
June 13, 2005 BM Transplantation Leads to Neural Generation
Adult bone marrow stem cells seem to differentiate into muscle, skin, liver, lung, and neuronal cells in rodents and have been shown to regenerate myocardium, hepatocytes, and skin and gastrointestinal epithelium in humans. The question is: do bone marrow cells graft neural tissue in humans. This is of great importance in treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, neural trauma or other CNS pathologies with the use of stem cell transplants. Neurogenesis used to be thought to be completed during embryonic life in rodents as well as humans … [find out more >>]
June 7, 2005 Applications Of Fetal Stem Cells
Stem cells from any source are exciting, both as models of developmental biology and for their promise in treating human disease. Their properties mean it is feasible to contemplate isolating stem cells from the body, expanding them under cell culture conditions, directing their proliferation with growth factors and then transplanting them or their progeny into patients of all ages for clinical gain. In this way stem cells might in future be used to alleviate degenerative disorders, replace diseased or failing tissues with engineered substitutes, and correct genetic disease. HSC have already been proven permanently and clonally to produce all cell types of blood and the immune system in engrafted hosts … [find out more >>]
March 10, 2005 Amyloidogenesis and Alzheimer Disease
The amyloid β-peptide (Aβ peptide) is assumed to play a crucial and early role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Thus, strategies for a pharmacotherapy aim at reducing Aβ peptide generation, which proteolytically derives from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). The main targets so far have been β- and γ-secretase, the two proteases that cleave APP at the N- and C-terminus of the Aβ peptide and are thus directly responsible for Aβ peptide generation. A different strategy, namely the activation of α-secretase, has barely been investigated for its therapeutic potential. α-Secretase cleaves within the Aβ peptide domain and thus precludes Aβ peptide generation. Now, new results demonstrate that activation of α-secretase indeed reduces Aβ peptide generation and toxicity in vivo. … [find out more >>]
March 4, 2005 Brain Exercise against Alzheimer
Physicians now commonly advise older adults to engage in mentally stimulating activity as a way of reducing their risk of dementia. Indeed, the recommendation is often followed by the acknowledgment that evidence of benefit is still lacking, but "it can't hurt." What could possibly be the problem with older adults spending their time doing crossword puzzles and anagrams, completing figural logic puzzles, or testing their reaction time on a computer? In certain respects, there is no problem. Patients will probably improve at the targeted skills, and may feel good particularly if the activity is both challenging and successfully completed … [find out more >>]
February 23, 2005 Antigenic Sequences and Cancer Vaccines
CD8+ cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are the primary effector cells of the adaptive immune system and have a major role in protecting us from a vast array of diseases including cancer. CTLs specifically recognize and lyse targets through the interaction of T cell receptors (TCRs) on the surface of the T lymphocyte with protein fragments (peptides) presented on the surface of target cells, in association with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. When a particular CTL interacts with a target cell, it rapidly divides to form a clonal population of T cells with the identical TCR … [find out more >>]
February 15, 2005 Neurotransplants and Parkinson Disease
The possibility of repairing the damaged human brain has been a dream of physicians and scientists for decades. Over time it has become obvious that Parkinson disease is a natural first when it comes to tackling this ambitious feat, primarily because the majority of the signs and symptoms appear to result from the progressive loss of cells in a small area known as the substantia nigra, which sits atop the brain stem. These cells make dopamine, which is delivered to a part of the basal ganglia known as the striatum; when nigral neurons die and striatal dopamine diminishes, the signs and symptoms of Parkinson disease become manifest … [find out more >>]
January 19, 2005 Cellular Senescence and Cancer
Achieving lasting remissions in patients suffering from nonlocalized malignancies remains the central problem of clinical oncology. Although the decades-old arsenal of classic anticancer treatment modalities such as surgery, chemotherapy, irradiation, and hormone ablation has been augmented by strategies including immunotherapy, gene therapy, inhibition of angiogenesis, hyperthermia, and a number of novel lesion-based approaches, the goal to eradicate all cancer cells in a metastasized condition is rarely within reach. Anticancer treatment strategies may be insufficient for many reasons: potentially efficient therapies might not always find their way to virtually inaccessible tumor sites … [find out more >>]
December 21, 2004 Self-immunity against Cancer
Immunologists generally agree that the immune system was shaped through evolution by the necessity of discriminating oneself pathogens from self-tissues. This distinction is extremely important for the survival of multicellular organisms. Some strategies for the recognition of oneself pathogens are clear-cut. For example, receptors such as toll-like receptors on host leukocytes bind to certain bacterial or fungal molecules, leading to mobilization of host defenses by signaling the synthesis of molecules that initiate innate and adaptive immune responses. The adaptive immune system, with its diversity of T cell receptors (TCRs) and antibodies, uses even more precise mechanisms for the recognition of oneself pathogens … [find out more >>]
December 8, 2004 Immune System versus Tumor
Therapeutic vaccines that have targeted established disease in cancer patients have not been successful in eliciting significant, long-lasting tumor regression. Over the last several decades, most attempts to vaccinate against cancer and generate an antitumor response have been in patients with measurable tumors, and the clinical endpoint of such trials has been to evaluate a reduction in tumor burden. The inability to effectively decrease tumor growth with active immunization is most likely due, in large part, to an unfavorable tumor microenvironment incapable of propagating a robust immune response … [find out more >>]
December 2, 2004 Complement Activation Consequences in AD
A variety of inflammatory processes is increased in regions of pathology in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. There is a reciprocal relationship between this local inflammation and senile plaques (SPs) and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs); both SPs and NFTs, as well as damaged neurons and neurites, stimulate inflammatory responses, and inflammatory processes exert multiple effects, some of which promote neuropathology. Numerous retrospective studies have shown that long-term administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to individuals with arthritis significantly reduces the risk for these individuals for developing AD … [find out more >>]
November 29, 2004 AMP-activated Protein Kinase and Heart Failure
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is the downstream component of a protein kinase cascade that is highly conserved in all eukaryotic cells. AMPK is activated by the rising cellular AMP that (due to the action of adenylate kinase) always accompanies a fall in the cellular ATP/ADP ratio, and this activation is antagonized by high concentrations of ATP. Downstream targets and processes regulated by the kinase are being identified on a regular basis. … [find out more >>]
November 26, 2004 Bone Marrow-derived Stem Cells in Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment
Retinitis pigmentosa is a common label for a heterogeneous group of heritable retinal degenerative diseases that result in progressive visual loss secondary to photoreceptor cell death. Of the two photoreceptor cell types in the vertebrate retina (rods and cones), these diseases primarily affect rods; the cones die an "innocent bystander" death. This is reflected in the natural clinical course of retinitis pigmentosa, which usually begins with loss of rod-mediated night vision and advances over the years with progressive loss of the peripheral visual field and, ultimately, the loss of central, cone-mediated vision. There is concomitant attenuation of the retinal vasculature … [find out more >>]
October 13, 2004 Anti-cancer Vaccination
Since the 1990s, tumor immunology has developed into a distinct discipline with a metamorphosis from clinical observations in oncology to understanding its scientific underpinnings. This has been particularly relevant to the development of active immunotherapies (vaccines) for cancer. Traditionally, vaccines have been effective in the induction of protective immunity to bacteria and viruses based on recognition of foreign, or non-self, antigens on these pathogens. However, cancer cells arise from one's own tissue (self) and this poses a challenge in the development of effective active immunotherapies for cancer. It also presents a conundrum: can the immune system mount an effective response to reject tumors? ... [find out more >>]
September 28, 2004 Neurological Repair with the Support of Adult Stem Cells
The ability of the CNS to respond to injury by increasing cell production and attempting regenerative repair has only recently been appreciated. Still, the inadequate or abortive replacement of CNS cells compares poorly with the regeneration and functional repair seen in other organs. The haemopoietic system, in particular, maintains circulating populations of cells with short lifespans; it has informed our knowledge of stem-cell biology, yielding the traditional stem-cell model-a hierarchical paradigm of progressive lineage restriction, in which as cells differentiate their fate choices become progressively more limited, and their capacity for proliferation reduced, until fully differentiated, mitotically quiescent cells are generated ... [find out more >>]
September 8, 2004 Cord Blood Cells and Brain Stroke Injury
Focal brain ischemia results from blockage of the blood supply to the region supplied by the affected vessel with subsequent degeneration of that tissue. The severity of this degeneration is a function of the extent and location of the injury. There is little spontaneous repair of the injured region, and most post-stroke improvement appears to reflect the recruitment of intact circuitry to perform the function of the degenerated region. Because of the public health importance of developing an effective treatment leading to recovery from stroke, various animal models have been developed to simulate the mechanism of injury and to evaluate intervention strategies ... [find out more >>]
August 25, 2004 Animal Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases (2)
Transgenic technology in biomedicine has opened a new era for animal modeling, which accelerates model development and results in better understanding of diseases as well as development of therapies for patients. The successful development of transgenic animal models for human diseases has led to remarkable breakthroughs that have significantly influenced the development of approaches to the diagnosis, treatment, and intervention of human diseases. Additionally, the models have clarified our understanding of disease mechanisms and the onset and course of pathology associated with disease ... [find out more >>]
August 18, 2004 Animal Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases (1)
Although genetically modified mice have provided important new information about the function of many genes, there are serious limitations to current animal models for a number of neurogenetic diseases. One reason for this is that a mouse ortholog to a human gene of interest may not exist. It is estimated that between 0.5 1% of human genes do not have mouse orthologs. For example, no mouse ortholog has been identified for the KAL1 gene. Loss-of-function mutations in this gene cause Kallmann's syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that results in anosmia and hypothalamic hypogonadism ... [find out more >>]
August 4, 2004 Cancer
In the 20th century, major structural changes took place in the countries of the developed world. Primarily agrarian societies were transformed into industrial societies with the accompanying migration of the majority of the population into large urban centers. This led to major lifestyle changes with unforeseen consequences. Diet in early 20th century agrarian societies was primarily based on organically produced fresh food. Food production was mainly carried out in relatively small family operations utilizing organic farming methods. By the end of the century, the landscape had completely transformed into large-scale industrial farming, utilizing non-organic production methods along with an industrial processing and distribution system for the majority of essential food items ... [find out more >>]
July 28, 2004 Vaccines Against Cancer
Despite multiple approaches to therapy and prevention, cancer remains a major cause of death worldwide. Most nonsurgical approaches targeting rapidly dividing cells, using radiotherapy or chemotherapy, also affect normal cells and result in side effects that limit treatment. In principle, the exquisite specificity of the immune system could be marshaled to precisely target cancer cells without harming normal cells. This hope has motivated much research over several decades but has met with only limited success to date. However, the rapid increases in knowledge of the immune system and its regulation have led to a resurgence of interest in immunologic approaches to target and eliminate cancer ... [find out more >>]
July 14, 2004 Stem Cells and Heart Disease
Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of congestive heart failure and death in developed countries. Congestive heart failure affects approximately 5 million patients in the United States, with 400 000 new cases per year. The current pharmacotherapy for congestive heart failure, including neurohormonal inhibition with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and β-blockers, improves clinical outcomes. Despite this, other treatment options that include various interventional and surgical therapeutic methods are limited in preventing ventricular remodeling because of their inability to repair or replace damaged myocardium ... [find out more >>]
June 11, 2004 Werner's Syndrome
Werner's syndrome was initially described by Werner in 1904, when he reported 4 cases of brothers and sisters with symptoms and signs including juvenile cataract, pachyderma-like alteration of the extremities, small stature, premature ageing of the face, juvenile grey hair, and genital hypoplasia. In 1934, Werner's syndrome was described by Oppenheimer and KugeP as an independent disease, with additional endocrine abnormalities, such as osteoporosis and hyperglycaemia. To the best of the authors' knowledge, about 1300 cases reported around the world from 1916 to 2002, including about 1000 Japanese patients ... [find out more >>]
May 7, 2004 Bone Marrow Cells in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disorder with no effective treatment, which insidiously advances to airspace obliteration and death. The mean survival time following diagnosis is less than 5 years. Pathologically, the disease is characterized by chronic inflammation and exuberant collagen production within the lung. Survival can be predicted by the extent of fibroblastic foci present at the time of lung biopsy. While the role of inflammation in IPF is less clear, inflammatory mediators, particularly transforming growth factor TGF-β, are presumed to drive the fibrotic process ... [find out more >>]
January 7, 2004 Bone Marrow Stem Cells – a New Hope for Patients
Myocardial infarction is, by nature, an irreversible injury. Regional systolic function and regional metabolism decrease within a few heartbeats of a sudden decrease in myocardial perfusion. In some patients, impaired diastolic relaxation may precede global systolic abnormalities. Irreversible cardiomyocyte injury begins after ~15 to 20 minutes of coronary artery occlusion. The subendocardial myocardium has high metabolic needs and thus is most vulnerable to ischemia. The extent of the infarction depends on the duration and severity of the perfusion defect. However, the extent of infarction is also modulated by a number of factors including collateral blood supply, medications, and ischemic preconditioning ... [find out more >>]
December 30, 2003 Endothelization Could Help in Alzheimer's Disease
Though neuronal cell death is the pathologic end-point in Alzheimer's disease (AD), intense research efforts have not clarified the primary mechanisms or metabolic defect that results in neuronal cell death. In particular, previous works have not answered the question, is AD a vascular or metabolic disorder? Although vascular pathology has been described in AD, relatively little is known about the pathogenic mechanisms by which brain endothelial cells and vascular pericytes contribute to dementia and lesions in AD brains. According to the current concept, the brain vascular system is continually modified in order to maintain adequate cerebral blood flow and brain perfusion ... [find out more >>]
November 15, 2003 Huntington's Disease Research and Discovery
After linkage of the Huntington disease (HD) gene was found in 1983, it took ten years of work by an international group to identify the mutation in the gene interesting transcript 15 (IT15) that causes the disease. HD is an autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease that becomes manifest in midlife and causes progressive motor, psychiatric, and cognitive dysfunction. It is invariably terminal. HD symptoms can begin as early as 2 years or as late as 90 years, although the average age of onset is in the late 30s and early 40s. If a child inherits the gene from his or her father, a phenomenon called anticipation frequently occurs, whereby the child's age of onset is lower than the father's ... [find out more >>]
November 10, 2003 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – Possible Cause of Disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentless fatal paralytic disorder confined to the voluntary motor system. Its prevalence is about three to five in 100,000 individuals, making it the most frequent paralytic disease in adults. Although ALS can strike anyone at any age, generally the onset of the disease is in the fourth or fifth decade of life. Common clinical features of ALS include muscle weakness, fasciculation, brisk (or depressed) reflexes, and extensor plantar responses. Even though motor deficit usually predominates in the limbs, bulbar enervation can also be severely affected, leading to atrophy of the tongue, dysphagia, and dysarthria ... [find out more >>]
October 15, 2003 Diabetes in Elderly Humans
Glucose tolerance progressively declines with age, resulting in a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in the older population. The interaction of many factors associated with aging likely contributes to the alterations in glucose tolerance in this population. These factors include increased adiposity, decreased physical activity, medications, coexisting illness, and insulin secretory defects associated with the aging process. The mechanism of age-related glucose intolerance is not completely clear ... [find out more >>]
October 13, 2003 Predictive Therapies to Treat Alzheimer's Disease?
In the not too distant future, clinical management of Alzheimer disease (AD) is likely to resemble the present management of atherosclerotic disease. Sometime before an individual reaches age 50, an internist will initiate a screening program to determine that person's risk for developing AD. This assessment will include a comprehensive genetic screen for AD-risk loci, determination of plasma amyloid β peptide (Aβ) levels, family history of AD, and, perhaps, potential environmental risks. Depending on the risk prediction, a follow-up visit with an Alzheimer specialist may be scheduled. During this visit, an amyloid-binding agent will be injected and used to evaluate the extent of amyloid deposition in the brain ... [find out more >>]
October 7, 2003 Fibrillogenesis and Neurodegenerative Diseases. What is the Link?
Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common form of age-related cognitive failure in humans. It is characterized by the progressive accumulation of the amyloid β protein (Aβ) in limbic and association cortices, where some of it precipitates to form a range of amorphous and compacted (fibrillar) extracellular plaques. These plaques, particularly the more compacted ones, are associated with dystrophic neurites (altered axons and dendrites), activated microglia, and reactive astrocytes. Cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the β and γ secretases releases both the Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 peptides, the latter being far more prone to aggregation and induction of neurotoxicity ... [find out more >>]
September 17, 2003 Fibrillogenesis and Neurodegenerative Diseases. What is the Link?
The process by which a linear sequence of amino acids folds into a discrete and functional three-dimensional protein is one on which life depends. We do know that the primary sequence is subject to evolutionary pressure to adjust folding rate and product stability according to physiological needs. The failure of a protein to fold correctly leads to a functional deficit, which can have serious consequences, as in cystic fibrosis. However, there is an emerging class of late-onset, slow-progressing diseases that appear to result instead from a gain of function associated with the abnormally folded form of the protein. These diseases, which are characterized by ordered, fibrillar aggregates comprising different proteins, include ... [find out more >>]
September 12, 2003 Apolipoprotein E Form in Alzheimer's Disease
Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 increases the risk and accelerates the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the underlying mechanisms remain to be determined. ApoE undergoes proteolytic cleavage in AD brains and in cultured neuronal cells, resulting in the accumulation of carboxyl-terminal truncated fragments of apoE that are neurotoxic ... [find out more >>]
July 16, 2003 Could IGF-I and GH Be the Salvation of Aging?
Dozens of genes extend adult longevity. Remarkably, many of these genes are involved with hormonal signals, and both these genes and their endocrine systems are conserved among eukaryotes. Thus, insulin-like peptides, insulin-like growth factor (IGF), lipophilic signaling molecules and steroids are all candidate effectors of aging in organisms as diverse as nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the fly Drosophila melanogaster and mouse Mus musculus. Suppression of these hormones or their receptors can increase life span and delay age-dependent functional decline. This regulation is likely adaptive because, at least among invertebrates, these hormones regulate the organism's capacity to survive during states of reduced metabolism coupled with high stress resistance and arrested development. Mutations that increase life span through hormones are though to initiate elements of this survival program independent of the appropriate environmental cues ... [find out more >>]
June 13, 2003 Drug Uptake in Aging
Depression in the elderly is nowadays a predominant health care problem, mainly due to the progressive aging of the population. It results from psychosocial stress, polypathology, as well as some biochemical changes which occur in the aged brain and can lead to cognitive impairments, increased symptoms from medical illness, higher utilization of health care services and increased rates of suicide and non-suicide mortality ... [find out more >>]
June 5, 2003 Depression in the Elderly
The increase in life expectancy in the 20th century has resulted in a major increase in the prevalence of age-dependent diseases and conditions, such as depression, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson's and cerebrovascular disease, vision and hearing loss, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, hip fractures, osteoarthritis, infections. Therefore, prolonged life and postponed mortality have a great impact on quality of life, since elderly patients are more frequently exposed to the vulnerability of extreme ages ... [find out more >>]
April 24, 2003 Folate and Homocysteine in Neurodegenerative Disorders
The adverse effects of folate deficiency in the developing nervous system suggested the possibility that folate deficiency and elevated homocysteine levels might also have adverse effects in the adult nervous system. Levels of homocysteine are increased in ... [find out more >>]
February 25, 2003 Misfolding Diseases
A range of human degenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, light-chain amyloidosis and the spongiform encephalopathies, is associated with the deposition in tissue of proteinaceous aggregates known as amyloid fibrils or plaques. It has been shown previously that ... [find out more >>]
November 28, 2002 Vaccination could be applied to treat Alzheimer's disease
The brains of Alzheimer's sufferers contain deposits of a protein called amyloid beta. These are thought to relate... ... [find out more >>]
November 25, 2002 Coexistence of Alzheimer-type Neuropathology in Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) are prototypes of non-transmissible and transmissible cerebral amyloidoses, respectively. There is ... [find out more >>]
November 22, 2002 Alzheimer-type Lesions in Huntington's Disease
Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance, is clinically characterized by choreic movements, psychiatric manifestations, and dementia, leading to ... [find out more >>]
November 18, 2002 Alterations in Content and Phosphorylation State of Cytoskeletal Proteins in the Sciatic Nerve During Ageing and Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a chronic degenerative dementing disorder that is neuropalhologically defined by the occurrence of senile plaques, neurofibrillary ... [find out more >>]
October 20, 2002 Age and HIV
Age is an important predictor of progression in HIV infections. Not only do ... [find out more >>]
October 14, 2002 New Drugs Protect Nerve Cells in Parkinson Mice
Parkinson's disease occurs when nerve cells in a brain region called the substania nigra die or become impaired and can no longer produce dopamine. Without ... [find out more >>]
August 1, 2002 AD and Smoking
Several investigations based on clinical epidemiology suggest that smoking might exert some protection from Alzheimer's disease. As ... [find out more >>]
July 17, 2002 Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Reduced Activities in Midlife
The investigation was carried out with the definition to find correlation between AD and midlife activities. The results indicate ... [find out more >>]