Navigation Links
Chili peppers spark discovery
Date:2/3/2013

PULLMAN, Wash. - As research efforts go, this one is high risk. Which is to say, it could easily fail.

And it's high reward. Meaning it could provide some relief to concussions and subsequent health effects seen in athletes, soldiers and other head-injury victims.

The National Football League thinks enough of the work that its charitable arm has given Krzysztof Czaja (pronounced K-shish-toff Chai-uh), a Washington State University neuroscientist, $100,000 to keep looking.

Five years ago, Czaja and WSU colleagues discovered by accident that a nerve center just outside the brain can recover from damage by inducing developing stem cells to become functional nerve cells, or neurons. Now he is looking for the substances that get the process going.

"Our idea is to trigger the cells and then plant them in a new, injured environment so they start to develop and seek connections," Czaja says.

The grant is one of 15 that NFL Charities awarded last year to support sports-related medical research, mostly in the prevention and treatment of concussions. Mounting concerns over football-related head injuries have led to congressional hearings, research linking injuries to long-term neurological problems like dementia, and lawsuits from former players. The league has instituted rule changes to make the game safer, but NFL players still had 170 concussions this season, according to the Concussion Watch database of FRONTLINE and ESPN.

Czaja's work grows out of experiments in which he and colleagues killed neurons in rats' nodose ganglia, a sort of brain outside the brain. They used capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers, but at doses thousands of times more potent than Tabasco sauce. The goal was to see if the damage to the nodose ganglia neurons affects nerve signals curbing the desire to eat.

Usually, the rats are euthanized soon after the experiment. But when Czaja learned that one group of rats was in good condition six months later, he thought to see what the ganglia looked like.

"What I found is that we actually got more neurons than less," he said.

The damage, he said, was "like a double-edged sword. It's damaging the nervous system but it's also inducing a cascade of events to fix it." Before this discovery, decades of neuroscientific thinking held that new neurons can only be formed inside the brain, putting them off limits to harvesting, let alone experimentation.

If Czaja can find the chemical agent stimulating the creation of new neurons, doctors could in theory use it to produce new neurons and graft them to damaged areas of the brain. Because they are from the patient, doctors might avoid autoimmune problems and both the ethical questions and technical challenges surrounding human embryonic stem cells.

"I think that our nervous system is much more plastic and much more capable and powerful than we think, than we imagine," said Czaja. "That's just unleashing this potential. And the beauty of our model is that this is something on the periphery we can use to fix the central nervous system."


'/>"/>

Contact: Krzysztof Czaja, assistant professor, Washington State U
czajak@vetmed.wsu.edu
509-335-7645
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Early treatment sparks striking brain changes in autism
2. COUP-TFII sparks prostate cancer progression
3. CB-1 Weight Gainer Commercial Sparks Conversation in Social Media World about the Weight Gain Pills
4. TruckGamesParking.com, a Popular Website of Free Motorbike Games, Announced its New Website
5. Scientist awarded $1 million grant to develop tools for hepatitis C treatment discovery
6. Washingtons Life Sciences Discovery Fund awards commercialization grants
7. Discovery could help to develop drugs for organ transplant and cancer patients
8. Feelings of immaturity accompany alcohol misuse into adulthood; discovery could improve treatments
9. H1N1 discovery paves way for universal flu vaccine: UBC research
10. Scientists make breakthrough in bile duct cancer with discovery of new gene mutations
11. Researchers make promising discovery in pursuit of effective lymphoma treatments
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Chili peppers spark discovery
(Date:1/17/2017)... Utah (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... of accredited, online continuing education for EMS and firefighting professionals, has released four ... (VILT) Solution. These new courses are taught live in an online classroom and ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... Neil H. Greco Insurance Agency, a northern New Jersey firm that provides asset ... charity drive to raise awareness of heart disease and promote habits that improve heart ... responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths at the national level each year. In ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... personality, and breast cancer survivor Sandra Lee as keynote speaker for the 34th ... Beach, Florida. , In making the announcement, PER® president, Phil Talamo, said, “We ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... Learning Center and the Montclair State University’s Athletic Training Education program forged a ... University’s Athletic Training Education Program, which is consists of both student members ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... Etymotic ... groundbreaking GunSport•PRO® and EB15•LE® electronic earplugs at the NSSF SHOT Show on January ... #2809. The SHOT Show is the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade show and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 Secretary of Health ... Programs Secretary Gary Tennis are warning Pennsylvanians ... two recent overdose deaths from the drug in ... is intended to sedate large animals and is not ... who comes into contact with it," Secretary Murphy said. ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 The interventional radiology ... by 2021 from USD 6.35 billion in 2016, at ... the growth of this market are rising incidence of ... minimally invasive surgeries. The global interventional radiology ... and region. On the basis of type, the stents ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 17, 2017  Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. ... medical marijuana growers/processors and dispensaries are now available ... . Permit applications will be accepted from February ... is an important step forward in getting this ... Secretary Murphy said. "We,ve developed a thorough application ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: