Navigation Links
Recreating 'Flowers for Algernon' with a happy ending

In a surprise twist that recalls the film classic "Flowers for Algernon," but adds a happy ending, UCLA scientists used statins, a popular class of cholesterol drugs, to reverse the attention deficits linked to the leading genetic cause of learning disabilities. The Nov. 8 issue of Current Biology reports the findings, which were studied in mice bred to develop the disease, called neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1).

The results proved so hopeful, that the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the drugs in three clinical trials currently under review to test the effect of statins in children and adults born with NF1. The findings could help the estimated 35 million Americans who struggle with learning disabilities.

"Learning disabilities and mental retardation each affect five percent of the world population," said Dr. Alcino Silva, professor of neurobiology, psychiatry and psychology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Currently, there are no treatment options for these people. That's why our findings are so exciting from a clinical perspective."

In an earlier study, Silva and his colleagues linked NF1's learning problems to a protein called Ras, a protein that regulates how brain cells talk to each other. This communication is what enables learning to take place. The NF1 mutation creates hyperactive Ras, which disrupts cellular conversation and undermines the learning process.

"The act of learning creates physical changes in the brain, like grooves on a record," said Silva. "But surplus Ras tips the balance between switching signals on and off in the brain. This interrupts the delicate cell communication needed by the brain to record learned information."

The UCLA team began searching for a safe drug that would zero in on Ras and overcome its hyperactivity without causing harmful side effects over long-term use.

"It became something of a Quixotic quest -- an impossible dream," Silva admitted.
'"/>

Source:University of California - Los Angeles


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Ever-happy mice may hold key to new treatment of depression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Recreating Flowers for Algernon with happy ending

(Date:10/14/2014)... study published in Cancer Research shows SIRT6—a ... colon cancers—can promote the development of skin cancers by ... survival of sun-damaged skin cells. , Previously considered protective, ... called sirtuins that help regulate genomic stability and prevent ... helps repair DNA damage, which can lead to cancer. ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... leading questions is how to produce enough food to ... Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts ... 40 years to feed a growing global population, and ... in food production. Plants—grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and ... Current research must tap into our knowledge of how ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... – October 14, 2014 – Scientists from The Scripps ... the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead an ... hemorrhagic fever disease in Africa. The study aims to ... some patients die, while others survive the inflection. ... the basic mechanism of how Lassa fever virus causes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Two-faced gene: SIRT6 prevents some cancers but promotes sun-induced skin cancer 2Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 2Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture 3Scripps Research Institute team receives $6.6 million to investigate deadly Lassa virus 2
... to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients ... in Los Angeles, CA from June 26-30, 2013. These awards ... scientists from underrepresented groups into the mainstream of the basic ... at the GSA: 19th International C. elegans Meeting. ...
... FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program ... for the Study of Reproduction meeting in Montreal, Canada ... promote the entry of students, postdoctorates and scientists from ... community and to encourage the participation of young scientists ...
... of households could go a long way to reducing greenhouse ... in energy demands at the household level, appears in the ... Saner and colleagues point out that the energy people use ... accounts for more than 70 percent of emissions of carbon ...
Cached Biology News:
(Date:10/22/2014)... (PRWEB) October 21, 2014 The ... the inorganic refrigerants market in Americas with analysis ... TOC of the Americas Inorganic Refrigerants Market report, ... provided. This also provides a glimpse of the ... is supported by various tables and figures. ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) October 22, 2014 ... laboratory balances from Sartorius, A & D Weighing, ... Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance . The Sartorius ... looking for an affordable high-quality, precise, and user-friendly ... in manufacturing of laboratory equipment, their laboratory balances ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 2014 /PRNewswire/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") ... for its Oral Amphotericin B program.  The company ... vitro work involving samples from HIV/AIDS patients ... complete pre clinical studies and regulatory filings to ... trial, utilizing approximately $700,000 of funding and technological ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... Oct. 20, 2014 Mapp Biopharmaceutical,s valiant ... antibody therapeutic to fight the Ebola outbreak will ... time-consuming the production of pharmaceuticals can be, according ... said that while some may be taken aback ... those with industry knowledge are well aware of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Americas Inorganic Refrigerants Market is estimated to grow to $71.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Americas Inorganic Refrigerants Market is estimated to grow to $71.6 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3Pipette.com Launches the Addition of Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance to Their Product Portfolio with Special Promotional Pricing 2Pipette.com Launches the Addition of Sartorius CPA Semi-Micro Balance to Their Product Portfolio with Special Promotional Pricing 3iCo Therapeutics Announces Advancement of Oral Amphotericin B Program 2iCo Therapeutics Announces Advancement of Oral Amphotericin B Program 3Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 3
... Abstract , ... with differing surface treatment procedures and carbon content levels , ... , Introduction ... been , made commercially available that offer optimized properties for ...
... , Dr. Karl-Heinz Esser, multiBIND biotec GmbH, ... AppliChem GmbH and, , ... , , , ... gene technology demonstrate,that even small amounts of free DNA molecules,are sufficient to cause ...
... Recommended Cecil Instrumentation: , Cecil Adept HPLC ... Fraction collector , Column heater, ... Researchers need to understand the expression of proteins. ... diseased cells. , Hence the study of proteomics, which ...
Cached Biology Technology:TSKgel ODS-100Z and TSKgel ODS-100V column series provides a universal solution for the analysis of samples containing acidic, basic, polar & non-polar compounds 2TSKgel ODS-100Z and TSKgel ODS-100V column series provides a universal solution for the analysis of samples containing acidic, basic, polar & non-polar compounds 3New Insights Into DNA Decontamination 2New Insights Into DNA Decontamination 3New Insights Into DNA Decontamination 4New Insights Into DNA Decontamination 5Semi Preparative Purification of Proteins 2
... Description: ,Kit containing Dermal Fibroblasts ... supplied as a long-term culture, and is ... of continuous growth from the date supplied, ... ,Source: Dermis, mouse/BalbC, embryonic day 18.5 ...
... A and Protein G bind specifically to ... A and Protein G conjugates are commonly ... (antibodies) and immunoglobulin subtypes from serum, hybridoma ... biological fluids. These reagents are also commonly ...
... a user-friendly statistical software package for scientists ... statistical analysis without being a statistical expert.Just ... and research and SigmaStat suggests the appropriate ... tests underlying assumptions and suggests another test ...
... Service, We deliversoluble protein or No ... yields the best soluble protein results , ... clone submitted , Powerful results on your ... Solubility Optimization Service (SOS) uses proprietary tools ...
Biology Products: