Navigation Links
Scientists receive funding boost to further research into disease mechanisms of Alzheimer’s
Date:7/29/2011

Neuroscientists at the University of Bristol have received a major funding boost of 550,000 from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to continue their research into the pathological processes underpinning Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, affecting around 465,000 people in the UK.

The funding will be used to continue the team's latest research into how aspects of electrical signalling go wrong in the Alzheimer's disease brain. Their initial findings, which formed the basis of the application to the MRC, were published today [28 July] in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. The group is led by Professor Andy Randall and Dr Jon Brown at the University's School of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Like a computer the brain largely uses electrical signals to encode and convey information. In diseases of the nervous system this electrical signalling becomes disturbed in various ways such that information processing becomes altered and processes like memory are compromised.

The study has utilised a rodent model engineered to exhibit aspects of Alzheimer's disease pathology in the brain. By making recordings from single brain cells in the hippocampus (a brain area crucially involved in memory) the researchers have been investigating what is known as "neuronal excitability". This is a descriptor of how easy it is to produce a brief, but very large, electrical signal called an action potential. Action potentials occur in practically all neurones and are essential for communication within all circuits of the nervous system. They are triggered near the cell body and once produced rapidly travel through the massively branching structure of the neurone, along the way activating the synapses the neurone makes with the numerous other neurones to which it is connected.

The researchers have found that the neuronal excitability is substantially altered in the model of Alzheimer's disease compared to normal controls. For example, the patterns of action potential produced for any given stimulus are altered. The team also found that in the Alzheimer's model the action potential shape is changed such that is rises more slowly and is both shorter and narrower. They followed this up by showing the functional levels of an important protein (the voltage-gated sodium channel) that are crucial to producing action potentials are substantially reduced.

These findings are significant as they have identified changes to the generation and waveform of action potentials in a model of Alzheimer's disease. Given the fundamental role of action potentials in the function of all brain circuits, these changes are potentially very important contributors to the deficits in brain function exhibited by those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.

Professor Randall, Professor in Applied Neurophysiology said: "As neurophysiologists we directly measure these electrical events in brain tissue and try to understand how they become disturbed by various pathological processes that contribute to diseases of the nervous system. Although many laboratories around the globe have considered this question, the vast majority, including colleagues in Bristol, have concentrated their efforts on understanding altered electrical signalling at synapses, the sites of contact between neurones at which cell-to-cell communication occurs. Although changes at synapses are no doubt important, our alternative approach has identified additional novel disturbances in electrical signalling in the brain which we believe are potentially as significant."


'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline Clancy
caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8086
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
2. Scientists Discover How HIV Is Transmitted Between Men
3. Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say
4. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
5. Scientists find donut-shaped structure of enzyme involved in energy metabolism
6. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
7. Two UCSF Scientists to Receive Prestigious Dementia Research Honor
8. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
9. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
10. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
11. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... PAINWeekEnd ... at 10 North Broadway Avenue, will be an educational and exciting program providing ... in the management of chronic pain. , Oklahoma is in a healthcare crisis. ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... fist-sized organs that pack a punch when it comes to maintaining good health. Every ... every 30 minutes, your kidneys filter every drop of your blood, eliminating waste, regulating ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... The TouchPoint Solution, ... the world to manage stress and anxiety. , “Buzzies change the way we ... and co-founder of Buzzies. , Since its launch date in December 2016, The TouchPoint ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ?This conference will prominently feature 150+ Hospital and ... and Director, AMN Healthcare: Susan Salka , 43rd President of the United States ... Big Fight My Life In and Out of the Ring: Sugar Ray Leonard , ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... It’s that time of year again! Time to ... summer internships , which can be frustrating when they don’t even know how ... Group, a boutique public relations firm outside of Philadelphia, have offered these three tips ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical ... significant unmet medical needs in rare diseases, today announced ... webcast on Monday, April 3 during ENDO 2017, the ... Orlando, Florida , to discuss new data regarding ... TransCon PTH and TransCon CNP). Ascendis is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  A new ... and accurate identification of individuals who carry ... for a rare yet potentially deadly side effect ... bipolar disorder.  The gene HLA-B*15:02 is ... such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... from the TACTI-mel trial of IMP321 in combination with ... the first (1mg/kg) cohort experiencing a complete response. Recruitment ... cohort is expected to be fully recruited by Q317. ... the AIPAC breast cancer study are expected mid-year (recruitment ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: