Neurodegenerative Changes (neurodegenerative + change)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Long-term treadmill exposure protects against age-related neurodegenerative change in the rat hippocampus

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 10 2009
Rachel M. O'Callaghan
Abstract The potential of exercise or environmental enrichment to prevent or reverse age-related cognitive decline in rats has been widely investigated. The data suggest that the efficacy of these interventions as neuroprotectants may depend upon the duration and nature of the protocols and age of onset. Investigations of the mechanisms underlying these neuroprotective strategies indicate a potential role for the neurotrophin family of proteins, including nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In this study, we have assessed the effects of 8 months of forced exercise, begun in middle-age, on the expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) and on spatial learning in the Morris water maze in aged Wistar rats. We also assessed these measures in a cage control group and in a group of rats exposed to the stationary treadmill for the same duration as the exercised rats. Our data confirm an age-related decline in expression of LTP and in spatial learning concomitant with decreased expression of NGF and BDNF mRNA in dentate gyrus (DG). The age-related impairments in both plasticity and growth factor expression were prevented in the long-term exercised group and, surprisingly, the treadmill control group. Given the extensive handling that the treadmill control group received and their regular exposure to an environment outside the home cage, this group can be considered to have experienced environmentally enriched conditions when compared with the cage control group. Significant correlations were observed between both learning and LTP and the expression of NGF and BDNF mRNA in the dentate gyrus. We conclude that decreased expression of NGF and BDNF in the dentate gyrus of aged rats is associated with impaired LTP and spatial learning. We suggest that the reversal of these age-related impairments by enrichment and exercise may be linked with prevention of the age-related decline in expression of these growth factors and, furthermore, that enrichment is as efficacious as exercise in preventing this age-related decline. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Aging-dependent changes of microglial cells and their relevance for neurodegenerative disorders

Rommy Von Bernhardi
J. Neurochem. (2010) 112, 1099,1114. Abstract Among multiple structural and functional brain changes, aging is accompanied by an increase of inflammatory signaling in the nervous system as well as a dysfunction of the immune system elsewhere. Although the long-held view that aging involves neurocognitive impairment is now dismissed, aging is a major risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer`s disease, Parkinson`s disease and Huntington's disease, among others. There are many age-related changes affecting the brain, contributing both to certain declining in function and increased frailty, which could singly and collectively affect neuronal viability and vulnerability. Among those changes, both inflammatory responses in aged brains and the altered regulation of toll like receptors, which appears to be relevant for understanding susceptibility to neurodegenerative processes, are linked to pathogenic mechanisms of several diseases. Here, we review how aging and pro-inflammatory environment could modulate microglial phenotype and its reactivity and contribute to the genesis of neurodegenerative processes. Data support our idea that age-related microglial cell changes, by inducing cytotoxicity in contrast to neuroprotection, could contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative changes. This view can have important implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches. [source]

Dietary supplementation with melatonin reduces levels of amyloid beta-peptides in the murine cerebral cortex

Debomoy K. Lahiri
Abstract:, Melatonin levels decrease with aging in mice. Dietary supplementation with melatonin has recently been shown to result in a significant rise in levels of endogenous melatonin in the serum and all other tissue samples tested. Herein, the effects of dietary melatonin on brain levels of nitric oxide synthase, synaptic proteins and amyloid beta-peptides (A,) were determined in mice. Melatonin supplementation did not significantly change cerebral cortical levels of nitric oxide synthase or synaptic proteins such as synaptophysin and SNAP-25. Increased brain melatonin concentrations however, led to a significant reduction in levels of toxic cortical A, of both short and long forms which are involved in amyloid depositions and plaque formation in Alzheimer's diseases. Thus, melatonin supplementation may retard neurodegenerative changes associated with brain aging. Depletion of melatonin in the brain of aging mice may in part account for this adverse change. [source]

Grape Polyphenols Inhibit Chronic Ethanol-Induced COX-2 mRNA Expression in Rat Brain

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 3 2002
Agnes Simonyi
Background: Chronic ethanol has been shown to increase oxidative stress leading to neurodegenerative changes in the brain. Oxidative stress may up-regulate extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERK1/2) and, subsequently, the arachidonic acid cascade mediated by phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and cyclooxygenase (COX-2). Our earlier study showed that grape polyphenols (GP) could ameliorate oxidative damage to synaptic membrane proteins due to chronic ethanol treatment. This study was aimed at examining the effects of GP on mRNA expression of ERK1/2, cytosolic PLA2 (cPLA2), and COX-2 in different brain regions after chronic ethanol treatment. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet with ethanol or isocaloric amount of maltose, with or without GP for 2 months. In situ hybridization was carried out using coronal brain sections through the hippocampus. Results: Quantitative in situ hybridization showed no changes in ERK1 and cPLA2 mRNA levels in cortical areas and hippocampus after ethanol and/or GP administration. However, a decrease in ERK2 and an increase in COX-2 mRNA level was found in the hippocampus of ethanol-treated animals. GP completely inhibited the increase in COX-2 due to ethanol treatment. Conclusion: Increase in COX-2 expression may be an underlying mechanism for the increase in oxidative stress induced by chronic ethanol administration. Dietary supplementation of GP may have a beneficial role in inhibiting certain alcohol effects. [source]

Olfactory pathogenesis of idiopathic Parkinson disease revisited

Alicja Lerner MD
Abstract Idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) is traditionally considered a movement disorder with hallmark lesions located in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). However, recent histopathological studies of some PD cases suggest the possibility of a multisystem disorder which progresses in a predictable sequence as described in Braak's staging criteria. The disease process starts in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (dmX) and anterior olfactory nucleus and bulb, and from there, spreads through the brainstem nuclei to ultimately reach the SNpc, which then presents as symptomatic PD. In this article, we would like to revisit the olfactory pathogenesis of PD based on Braak's staging system and review anatomical pathways supporting such a possibility. We also suggest some biomarkers for early stages of PD. Additionally, we present and discuss the possibility that a prion-like process underlies the neurodegenerative changes in PD. 2008 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Centella asiatica extract selectively decreases amyloid , levels in hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease animal model

Muralikrishnan Dhanasekaran
Abstract PSAPP mice expressing the ,Swedish' amyloid precursor protein and the M146L presenilin 1 mutations are a well-characterized model for spontaneous amyloid , plaque formation. Centella asiatica has a long history of use in India as a memory enhancing drug in Ayurvedic literature. The study investigated whether Centella asiatica extract (CaE) can alter the amyloid pathology in PSAPP mice by administering CaE (2.5 or 5.0 g/kg/day) starting at 2 months of age prior to the onset of detectable amyloid deposition and continued for either 2 months or 8 months. A significant decrease in amyloid , 1,40 and 1,42 was detectable by ELISA following an 8 month treatment with 2.5 mg/kg of CaE. A reduction in Congo Red stained fibrillar amyloid plaques was detected with the 5.0 mg/kg CaE dose and long-term treatment regimen. It was also confirmed that CaE functions as an antioxidant in vitro, scavenging free radicals, reducing lipid peroxidation and protecting against DNA damage. The data indicate that CaE can impact the amyloid cascade altering amyloid , pathology in the brains of PSAPP mice and modulating components of the oxidative stress response that has been implicated in the neurodegenerative changes that occur with Alzheimer's disease. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Distinct Brain Volume Changes Correlating with Clinical Stage, Disease Progression Rate, Mutation Size, and Age at Onset Prediction as Early Biomarkers of Brain Atrophy in Huntington's Disease

Ferdinando Squitieri
Searching brain and peripheral biomarkers is a requisite to cure Huntington's disease (HD). To search for markers indicating the rate of brain neurodegenerative changes in the various disease stages, we quantified changes in brain atrophy in subjects with HD. We analyzed the cross-sectional and longitudinal rate of brain atrophy, quantitatively measured by fully-automated multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, as fractional gray matter (GM, determining brain cortex volume), white matter (WM, measuring the volume of axonal fibers), and corresponding cerebral spinal fluid (CSF, a measure of global brain atrophy), in 94 gene-positive subjects with presymptomatic to advanced HD, and age-matched healthy controls. Each of the three brain compartments we studied (WM, GM, and CSF) had a diverse role and their time courses differed in the development of HD. GM volume decreased early in life. Its decrease was associated with decreased serum brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor and started even many years before onset symptoms, then decreased slowly in a nonlinear manner during the various symptomatic HD stages. WM volume loss also began in the presymptomatic stage of HD a few years before manifest symptoms appear, rapidly decreasing near to the zone-of-onset. Finally, the CSF volume increase began many years before age at onset. Its volume measured in presymptomatic subjects contributed to improve the CAG-based model of age at onset prediction. The progressive CSF increase depended on CAG mutation size and continued linearly until the last stages of HD, perhaps representing the best marker of progression rate and severity in HD (R2= 0.25, P < 0.0001). [source]