Neurodegenerative Conditions (neurodegenerative + condition)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Kinds of Neurodegenerative Conditions

  • other neurodegenerative condition

  • Selected Abstracts

    HIV-1 viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 produces oxidative stress and regulates the functional expression of multidrug resistance protein-1 (Mrp1) in glial cells

    Patrick T. Ronaldson
    Abstract Brain human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection is associated with oxidative stress, which may lead to HIV-1 encephalitis, a chronic neurodegenerative condition. In vitro, oxidative stress can be induced in glial cells by exposure to HIV-1 envelope protein glycoprotein (gp120). Multidrug resistance proteins (Mrps) are known to efflux endogenous substrates (i.e. GSH and GSSG) involved in cellular defense against oxidative stress. Altered GSH/GSSG export may contribute to oxidative damage during HIV-1 encephalitis. At present, it is unknown if gp120 exposure can alter the functional expression of Mrp isoforms. Heat-shock protein 70, inducible nitric oxide synthase, intracellular GSSG, 2,,7,-dichlorofluorescein fluorescence, and extracellular nitrite were increased in primary cultures of rat astrocytes triggered with gp120, suggesting an oxidative stress response. RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis demonstrated increased Mrp1 mRNA (2.3-fold) and protein (2.2-fold), respectively, in gp120 treated astrocytes while Mrp4 mRNA or protein expression was not changed. Cellular retention of 2,,7,-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein, an established Mrp substrate, was reduced (twofold) in gp120-treated astrocytes, suggesting increased Mrp-mediated transport. In addition, GSH and GSSG export were enhanced in gp120-triggered cells. These data suggest that gp120 can up-regulate Mrp1, but not Mrp4, functional expression in cultured astrocytes. Our observation of increased GSH/GSSG efflux in response to gp120 treatment implies that Mrp isoforms may be involved in regulating the oxidative stress response in glial cells. [source]

    Ataxia with isolated vitamin E deficiency: A clinical, biochemical and genetic diagnosis

    G Alex
    Abstract: A case of ataxia with isolated vitamin E deficiency, in conjunction with supportive genetic studies, is reported. This is a neurodegenerative condition that involves a mutation in the tocopherol (,) transfer protein gene (TTPA). Measurement of serum vitamin E concentration should be included as part of the investigations in children with progressive ataxia, even in the absence of fat malabsorption. Early treatment with vitamin E may protect such patients against further neurological damage. [source]

    Language Processing in Frontotemporal Dementia: A Brief Review

    Jonathan E. Peelle
    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative condition that presents with a number of distinct behavioral phenotypes. Here we review language-processing deficits in three subgroups of FTD patients: progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA), semantic dementia (SD), and nonaphasic FTD patients with a disorder of social and executive functioning (SOC/EXEC). These three clinical subgroups have contrasting patterns of regional cortical atrophy that can be linked to their language impairments. PNFA patients' disease includes left ventral inferior frontal cortex, resulting in impaired grammatical processing. SD patients demonstrate a profound impairment for semantic knowledge related to atrophy of the left temporal lobe. SOC/EXEC patients' frontal atrophy tends to be more right lateralized and is associated with declines in executive functioning. SOC/EXEC patients' limited executive resources impact language processing in a variety of ways, including slowed grammatical processing and impaired narrative discourse. FTD patients therefore provide converging evidence regarding dissociable components of language processing and their neuroanatomical bases. [source]

    The current clinical management of Huntington's disease,

    MOVEMENT DISORDERS, Issue 11 2008
    Wendy Phillips MD
    Abstract Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative condition, characterized by movement disorders, cognitive decline, and psychiatric disturbance. We review the pharmacological management of the various movement disorders associated with the disease, the cognitive decline and the commonly encountered behavioral disturbances. We discuss the nonclassical features of the disease, important in the management of these patients. Nonpharmacological support including genetic counseling and therapy and the importance of palliative care are also addressed. Finally, experimental approaches that may soon impact upon clinical practice are discussed. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society [source]

    Examination of intravenous and intra-CSF protein delivery for treatment of neurological disease

    Kim M. Hemsley
    Abstract Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA is a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder characterized by progressive loss of learned skills, sleep disturbance and behavioural problems. Absent or greatly reduced activity of sulphamidase, a lysosomal protein, results in intracellular accumulation of heparan sulphate. Subsequent neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration typify this and many other lysosomal storage disorders. We propose that intra-cerebrospinal fluid protein delivery represents a potential therapeutic avenue for treatment of this and other neurodegenerative conditions; however, technical restraints restrict examination of its use prior to adulthood in mice. We have used a naturally-occurring Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA mouse model to determine the effectiveness of combining intravenous protein replacement (1 mg/kg) from birth to 6 weeks of age with intra-cerebrospinal fluid sulphamidase delivery (100 ,g, fortnightly from 6 weeks) on behaviour, the level of heparan sulphate-oligosaccharide storage and other neuropathology. Mice receiving combination treatment exhibited similar clinical improvement and reduction in heparan sulphate storage to those only receiving intra-cerebrospinal fluid enzyme. Reductions in micro- and astrogliosis and delayed development of ubiquitin-positive lesions were seen in both groups. A third group of intravenous-only treated mice did not exhibit clinical or neuropathological improvements. Intra-cerebrospinal fluid injection of sulphamidase effectively, but dose-dependently, treats neurological pathology in Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA, even when treatment begins in mice with established disease. [source]

    Increased cerebral activity in Parkinson's disease patients carrying the DRD2 TaqIA A1 allele during a demanding motor task: a compensatory mechanism?

    D. Bartrés-Faz
    Previous studies suggest that neuroimaging techniques are useful for detecting the effects of functional genetic polymorphisms on brain function in healthy subjects or in patients presenting with psychiatric or neurodegenerative conditions. Former evidence showed that individuals carrying risk alleles displayed broader patterns of brain activity during behavioural and cognitive tasks, despite being clinically comparable to non-carriers. This suggests the presence of compensatory brain mechanisms. In the present study, we investigated this effect in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients carrying the DRD2 TaqIA A1 allelic variant. This variant may confer an increased risk of developing the disease and/or influence the clinical presentation. During a complex sequential motor task, we evidenced by functional magnetic resonance imaging that A1 allele carriers activated a larger network of bilateral cerebral areas than non-carriers, including cerebellar and premotor regions. Both groups had similar clinical and demographic measures. In addition, their motor performance during the functional magnetic resonance experiment was comparable. Therefore, our conclusions, pending replication in a larger sample, seem to reflect the recruitment of compensatory cerebral resources during motor processing in PD patients carrying the A1 allele. [source]

    Microglia express functional 11,-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1,

    GLIA, Issue 10 2010
    Andres Gottfried-Blackmore
    Abstract Glucocorticoids are potent regulators of inflammation exerting permissive, stimulatory, and suppressive effects. Glucocorticoid access to intracellular receptors is regulated by the activity of two distinct enzymes known as 11,-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11,HSD) Type 1 and Type 2, which catalyze the activation or deactivation of glucocorticoids. Although expression of these enzymes in major organ systems and their roles in the metabolic effects of glucocorticoids have been described, their role in the inflammatory response has only recently started to be addressed. In this report, we have studied the expression and activity of 11,HSD Type 1 and Type 2 in microglia cells. Microglia, the brain's resident macrophages, initiate and orchestrate CNS inflammatory responses. Importantly, activated microglia are implicated in most neurodegenerative conditions, making them key subjects of study. We found that microglia expressed 11,HSD-1, but not 11,HSD-2, both in ex vivo FACS-sorted adult cells and in vitro primary cultures. 11,HSD-1 expression was increased in LPS-activated microglia. Moreover, 11,HSD-1 catalyzed the metabolic conversion of 11-dehydro-corticosterone into corticosterone (CORT), which potently reduced cytokine production in activated microglia. We propose that 11,HSD-1 may provide microglia with an intrinsic mechanism to autoregulate and inhibit proinflammatory mediator production through CORT formation. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    The functional neuroanatomy of geriatric depression

    Gwenn S. Smith
    Abstract Objective Positron Emission Tomography (PET) studies of cerebral glucose metabolism have demonstrated sensitivity in evaluating the functional neuroanatomy of treatment response variability in depression, as well as in the early detection of functional changes associated with incipient cognitive decline. The evaluation of cerebral glucose metabolism in late life depression may have implications for understanding treatment response variability, as well as evaluating the neurobiological basis of depression in late life as a risk factor for dementia. Methods Sixteen patients with geriatric depression and 13 comparison subjects underwent resting PET studies of cerebral glucose metabolism, as well as magnetic resonance (MR) imaging scans to evaluate brain structure. Results Cerebral glucose metabolism was elevated in geriatric depressed patients relative to comparison subjects in anterior (right and left superior frontal gyrus) and posterior (precuneus, inferior parietal lobule) cortical regions. Cerebral atrophy (increased cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] and decreased grey and white matter volumes) were observed in some of these regions, as well. Regional cerebral metabolism was positively correlated with severity of depression and anxiety symptoms. Conclusions In contrast to decreased metabolism observed in normal aging and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, cortical glucose metabolism was increased in geriatric depressed patients relative to demographically matched controls, particularly in brain regions in which cerebral atrophy was observed, which may represent a compensatory response. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The Differential Susceptibility of Specific Neuronal Populations: Insights from Huntington's Disease

    IUBMB LIFE, Issue 6 2003
    Ian Mitchell
    Abstract Recent successes in identifying the genes and associated proteins underlying several familial neurodegenerative conditions have not always resulted in accounts as to why the associated patterns of neuronal damage are so specific and limited. Here, with reference to Huntington's disease, we present a general scheme to show how the mutant protein could interact with associated proteins to form an aggregation product. This could lead to neuronal death by direct actions on caspases, or by raising the levels of intracellular calcium ions and reactive oxygen species above a threshold that cannot be resisted by the protection normally conferred by endogenous factors such as calcium binding proteins, free radical scavengers and trophic factors. The local distributions of vulnerability and protective factors could ultimately dictate the pattern of damage induced by the mutant gene. IUBMB Life, 55: 293-298, 2003 [source]

    Disease modifying therapy for AD?,

    Todd E. Golde
    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in industrialized nations. If more effective therapies are not developed that either prevent AD or block progression of the disease in its very early stages, the economic and societal cost of caring for AD patients will be devastating. Only two types of drugs are currently approved for the treatment of AD: inhibitors of acetyl cholinesterase, which symptomatically enhance cognitive state to some degree but are not disease modifying; and the adamantane derivative, memantine. Memantine preferentially blocks excessive NMDA receptor activity without disrupting normal receptor activity and is thought to be a neuroprotective agent that blocks excitotoxicty. Memantine therefore may have a potentially disease modifying effect in multiple neurodegenerative conditions. An improved understanding of the pathogeneses of AD has now led to the identification of numerous therapeutic targets designed to alter amyloid , protein (A,) or tau accumulation. Therapies that alter A, and tau through these various targets are likely to have significant disease modifying effects. Many of these targets have been validated in proof of concept studies in preclinical animal models, and some potentially disease modifying therapies targeting A, or tau are being tested in the clinic. This review will highlight both the promise of and the obstacles to developing such disease modifying AD therapies. [source]

    The radical scavenger CR-6 protects SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis: effect on survival pathways

    Nuria Sanvicens
    Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress have long been linked to cell death of neurons in many neurodegenerative conditions. However, the exact molecular mechanisms triggered by oxidative stress in neurodegeneration are at present unclear. In the current work we have used the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line as a model for studying the molecular events occurring after inducing apoptosis with H2O2. We show that treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with H2O2 up-regulates survival pathways during early stages of apoptosis. Subsequently, the decline of anti-apoptotic protein levels leads to the activation of the calcium-dependent proteases calpains and the cysteine proteases caspases. Additionally, we demonstrate that CR-6 (3,4-dihydro-6-hydroxy-7-methoxy-2,2-dimethyl-1(2H)-benzopyran) acts as a scavenger of ROS and prevents apoptosis by enhancing and prolonging up-regulation of survival pathways. Furthermore, we show that pre-treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with a cocktail containing CR-6, the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk (zVal-Ala-Asp-fluoro-methylketone) and the calpain inhibitor SJA6017 confers almost total protection against apoptosis. In summary, the present work characterizes the molecular mechanisms involved in oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells. Our findings highlight the relevance of CR-6, alone or in combination with other drugs, as potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. [source]

    Antisense suppression of tau in cultured rat oligodendrocytes inhibits process formation

    David Gordon
    Abstract The microtubule-associated protein tau is integral to neuronal process development and has a role in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative conditions. We examined possible roles for tau in cultured oligodendrocyte process formation by using antisense oligonucleotide treatment. Inhibition of tau synthesis with single oligonucleotides resulted in decreased tau protein levels and significantly shorter cellular processes. Simultaneous use of two nonoverlapping oligonucleotides caused a major reduction in tau levels and severely inhibited process outgrowth. The timing of oligonucleotide addition to oligodendrocyte cultures was important, with addition of antisense at the time of plating into culture having the most significant effect on morphology through reduction of tau expression. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Melatonin increases activities of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in fetal rat brain

    Yuji Okatani
    Melatonin is a powerful scavenger of oxygen free radicals. In humans, melatonin is rapidly transferred from the maternal to the fetal circulation. To investigate whether or not maternal melatonin administration can protect the fetal rat brain from radical-induced damage by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes, we administered melatonin to pregnant rats on day 20 of gestation. Melatonin (10 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally at daytime (14:00 hr) and, to remove the fetuses, a laparotomy was performed at 1, 2, or 3 hr after its administration. We measured the melatonin concentration in the maternal serum and in fetal brain homogenates and determined the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in fetal brain homogenates. Melatonin administration markedly increased melatonin concentrations in the maternal serum and fetal brain homogenates, with peak levels achieved 1 hr after melatonin administration (serum: 538.2±160.7 pM/mL; brain homogenates: 13.8±2.8 pM/mg protein). Between 1 and 3 hr after melatonin administration, GSH-Px activity in fetal brain homogenates increased significantly (P<0.01). Similarly, SOD activity increased significantly between 1 and 2 hr after melatonin administration (P<0.01). These results indicate that melatonin administration to the mother increases antioxidant enzyme activities in the fetal brain and may thereby provide indirect protection against free radical injury. Thus, melatonin may potentially be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions that may involve excessive free radical production, such as fetal hypoxia and preeclampsia. [source]

    Impaired inhibitory G-protein function contributes to increased calcium currents in rats with diabetic neuropathy

    KE Hall
    There is a growing body of evidence that sensory neuropathy in diabetes is associated with abnormal calcium signaling in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Enhanced influx of calcium via multiple high-threshold calcium currents is present in sensory neurons of several models of diabetes mellitus, including the spontaneously diabetic BioBred/Worchester (BB/W) rat and the chemical streptozotocin (STZ)-induced rat. We believe that abnormal calcium signaling in diabetes has pathologic significance as elevation of calcium influx and cytosolic calcium release has been implicated in other neurodegenerative conditions characterized by neuronal dysfunction and death. Using electrophysiologic and pharmacologic techniques, the present study provides evidence that significant impairment of G-protein-coupled modulation of calcium channel function may underlie the enhanced calcium entry in diabetes. N- and P-type voltage-activated, high-threshold calcium channels in DRGs are coupled to mu opiate receptors via inhibitory G(o)-type G proteins. The responsiveness of this receptor coupled model was tested in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from spontaneously-diabetic BB/W rats, and streptozotocin-induced (STZ) diabetic rats. Intracellular dialysis with GTPgammaS decreased calcium current amplitude in diabetic BB/W DRG neurons compared with those of age-matched, nondiabetic controls, suggesting that inhibitory G-protein activity was diminished in diabetes, resulting in larger calcium currents. Facilitation of calcium current density (I(DCa)) by large-amplitude depolarizing prepulses (proposed to transiently inactivate G proteins), was significantly less effective in neurons from BB/W and STZ-induced diabetic DRGs. Facilitation was enhanced by intracellular dialysis with GTPgammaS, decreased by pertussis toxin, and abolished by GDPbetaS within 5 min. Direct measurement of GTPase activity using opiate-mediated GTPgamma[(35)S] binding, confirmed that G-protein activity was significantly diminished in STZ-induced diabetic neurons compared with age-matched nondiabetic controls. Diabetes did not alter the level of expression of mu opiate receptors and G-protein alpha subunits. These studies indicate that impaired regulation of calcium channels by G proteins is an important mechanism contributing to enhanced calcium influx in diabetes. [source]

    The relationship between uric acid levels and Huntington's disease progression,

    MOVEMENT DISORDERS, Issue 2 2010
    Peggy Auinger MS
    Abstract Uric acid (UA) may be associated with the progression of Parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative conditions; however, its association with Huntington's disease (HD) progression has not been explored. A secondary analysis of 347 subjects from the CARE-HD clinical trial was performed to examine the relationship between baseline UA levels and the level of functional decline in HD. Outcomes included change in scores at 30 months for the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale components. There was less worsening of total functional capacity over time with increasing baseline UA levels (adjusted mean worsening in scores: 3.17, 2.99, 2.95, 2.28, 2.21, from lowest to highest UA quintile, P = 0.03). These data suggest a possible association between higher UA levels and slower HD progression, particularly as measured by total functional capacity. If confirmed, UA could be an important predictor and potentially modifiable factor affecting the rate of HD progression. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society [source]

    What is the basis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy induced neurodegeneration and can it be repaired?

    J. R. FraserArticle first published online: 8 APR 200
    Once an animal becomes infected with a prion disease, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), the progression of infection is relentless and inevitably fatal, although often with such prolonged incubation periods that an alternative cause of death can intervene. Infection has been compared to ,setting a clock' which then runs inexorably as the disease spreads, usually through the lymphoreticular system and then via peripheral nerves to the central nervous system (CNS), although the mechanism controlling the protracted progression is not known. Clinical disease develops as characteristic degenerative changes in the CNS progress, but the molecular basis for this pathology is not clear, particularly the relationship between the deposition of abnormal PrP and neuronal dysfunction. Recent research has identified several means of slowing (if not stopping) the clock when infection has not yet reached the CNS; although the potential for later stage therapies seems limited, neuroprotective strategies which have been shown to be effective in other neurodegenerative conditions may also ameliorate TSE induced CNS pathology. This review focuses on our current knowledge of the key events following infection of the CNS and the opportunities for intervention once the CNS has become infected. [source]

    The ubiquitin protein catabolic disorders

    Robert Layfield
    The ubiquitin,proteasome system of intracellular proteolysis is essential for cell viability. We propose the concept that neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as other conditions including some types of cancer, collectively represent a raft of ,ubiquitin protein catabolic disorders' in which altered function of the ubiquitin,proteasome system can cause or directly contribute to disease pathogenesis. Genetic abnormalities within the ubiquitin pathway, either in ubiquitin-ligase (E3) enzymes or in deubiquitinating enzymes, cause disease because of problems associated with substrate recognition or supply of free ubiquitin, respectively. In some cases, mutations in protein substrates of the ubiquitin,proteasome system may directly contribute to disease progression because of inefficient substrate recognition. Mutations in transcripts for the ubiquitin protein itself (as a result of ,molecular misreading') also affect ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis with catastrophic consequences. This has been shown in Alzheimer's disease and could apply to other age-associated neurodegenerative conditions. Within the nervous system, accumulation of unwanted proteins as a result of defective ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis may contribute to aggregation events, which underlie the pathogenesis of several major human neurodegenerative diseases. [source]

    FUS-immunoreactive inclusions are a common feature in sporadic and non-SOD1 familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    ANNALS OF NEUROLOGY, Issue 6 2010
    Han-Xiang Deng MD
    Objective Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disorder of motor neuron degeneration. Most cases of ALS are sporadic (SALS), but about 5 to 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS). Recent studies have shown that mutations in FUS are causal in approximately 4 to 5% of FALS and some apparent SALS cases. The pathogenic mechanism of the mutant FUS-mediated ALS and potential roles of FUS in non-FUS ALS remain to be investigated. Methods Immunostaining was performed on postmortem spinal cords from 78 ALS cases, including SALS (n = 52), ALS with dementia (ALS/dementia, n = 10), and FALS (n = 16). In addition, postmortem brains or spinal cords from 22 cases with or without frontotemporal lobar degeneration were also studied. In total, 100 cases were studied. Results FUS-immunoreactive inclusions were observed in spinal anterior horn neurons in all SALS and FALS cases, except for those with SOD1 mutations. The FUS-containing inclusions were also immunoreactive with antibodies to TDP43, p62, and ubiquitin. A fraction of tested FUS antibodies recognized FUS inclusions, and specific antigen retrieval protocol appeared to be important for detection of the skein-like FUS inclusions. Interpretation Although mutations in FUS account for only a small fraction of FALS and SALS, our data suggest that FUS protein may be a common component of the cellular inclusions in non-SOD1 ALS and some other neurodegenerative conditions, implying a shared pathogenic pathway underlying SALS, non-SOD1 FALS, ALS/dementia, and related disorders. Our data also indicate that SOD1-linked ALS may have a pathogenic pathway distinct from SALS and other types of FALS. ANN NEUROL 2010;67:739,748 [source]

    Cyclopentenone Eicosanoids as Mediators of Neurodegeneration: A Pathogenic Mechanism of Oxidative Stress-Mediated and Cyclooxygenase-Mediated Neurotoxicity

    BRAIN PATHOLOGY, Issue 2 2005
    Erik S. Musiek
    The activation of cyclooxygenase enzymes in the brain has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative conditions. Similarly, oxidative stress is believed to be a major contributor to many forms of neurodegeneration. These 2 distinct processes are united by a common characteristic: the generation of electrophilic cyclopentenone eicosanoids. These cyclopentenone compounds are defined structurally by the presence of an unsaturated carbonyl moiety in their prostane ring, and readily form Michael adducts with cellular thiols, including those found in glutathione and proteins. The cyclopentenone prostaglandins (PGs) PGA2, PGJ2, and 15-deoxy-,12,14 PGJ2, enzymatic products of cyclooxygenase-mediated arachidonic acid metabolism, exert a complex array of potent neurodegenerative, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory effects. Cyclopentenone isoprostanes (A2/J2 -IsoPs), products of non-enzymatic, free radical-mediated arachidonate oxidation, are also highly bioactive, and can exert direct neurodegenerative effects. In addition, cyclopentenone products of docosahexaenoic acid oxidation (cyclopentenone neuroprostanes) are also formed abundantly in the brain. For the first time, the formation and biological actions of these various classes of reactive cyclopentenone eicosanoids are reviewed, with emphasis on their potential roles in neurodegeneration. The accumulating evidence suggests that the formation of cyclopentenone eicosanoids in the brain may represent a novel pathogenic mechanism, which contributes to many neurodegenerative conditions. [source]

    Apoptotic and Anti-Apoptotic Synaptic Signaling Mechanisms

    BRAIN PATHOLOGY, Issue 2 2000
    Mark P. Mattson
    Although several prominent morphological features of apoptosis are evident in the cell body (e.g., cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, and nuclear DNA condensation and fragmentation) the biochemical and molecular cascades that constitute the cell death machinery can be engaged in synaptic terminals and neurites. Initiating events such as oxyradical production and calcium influx, and effector processes such as Par-4 production, mitochondrial alterations and caspase activation, can be induced in synapses and neurites. Several prominent signal transduction pathways in synaptic terminals play important roles in either promoting or preventing neuronal death in physiological and pathological conditions. For example, activation of glutamate receptors in postsynaptic spines can induce neuronal apoptosis, whereas local activation of neurotrophic factor receptors in presynaptic terminals can prevent neuronal death. Factors capable of inducing nuclear chromatin condensation and fragmentation can be produced locally in synaptic terminals and neurites, and may propogate to the cell body. Recent findings suggest that, beyond their roles in inducing or preventing cell death, apoptotic and anti-apoptotic cascades play roles in synaptic plasticity (structural remodelling and long-term functional changes). For example, caspase activation results in proteolysis of glutamate receptor (AMPA) subunits, which results in altered neuronal responsivity to glutamate. Activation of neurotrophic factor receptors in synaptic terminals can result in local changes in energy metabolism and calcium homeostasis, and can induce long-term changes in synaptic transmission. The emerging data therefore suggest that synapses can be considered as autonomous compartments in which both pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways are activated resulting in structural and functional changes in neuronal circuits. A better understanding of such synaptic signaling mechanisms may reveal novel approaches for preventing and treating an array of neurodegenerative conditions that are initiated by perturbed synaptic homeostasis. [source]

    Restless legs syndrome: an early manifestation of Huntington's disease?

    E. Savva
    Background,,, Far from being uniform, Huntington's disease (HD)'s phenotype encompasses a large variety of motor and non-motor symptoms which occur in various combinations in individual patients. Aim,,, To describe an unusual association between restless legs syndrome (RLS) and HD. Methods and results,,, We report a patient with an atypical presentation of genetically demonstrated HD, who developed typical RLS a few years prior to and during the course of HD. Common causes of RLS were excluded and the polysomnography confirmed frequent and severe periodic limb movements during sleep and while awake. Conclusions,,, We propose RLS as an uncommon but early feature of HD in some patients, and suggest adding HD to the already long list of RLS secondary to neurodegenerative conditions. [source]

    2452: Patients in the DARC: drops revealing retinal ganglion cells in vivo

    Purpose To provide a review of current & future DARC imaging technologies and their application to neuroprotection Methods Currently, lowering IOP remains the only clinical therapy available in the treatment of glaucoma, despite the evidence that vision loss can continue in the presence of "significant" IOP reduction. Neuroprotection has been increasingly recognized as an important alternative treatment approach, but its emergence has also highlighted the need for both better defined end-points in clinical glaucoma research, as well as earlier and better detection and measures of progression. This could have been a factor in the recent memantine trial. A recent FDA/NEI meeting on end-points in glaucoma emphasized the need for new measurements. As the RGC is the primary injured neuron in this disease, it would seem logical that any modality that could directly measure RGC dysfunction and disease would be ideal. Perhaps the greatest changes that we have encountered recently are in the field of imaging technologies, which have only relatively recently been applied to the eye. Results Advances in this area have allowed unprecedented in vivo access to the retinal layers, using many different properties of light to differentiate cellular structures. DARC is a technology shortly to enter clinical trials which allows the visualization of "sick" RGCs. Conclusion Over the next few years, developments in therapy & diagnostic using DARC should offer great potential in glaucoma and other neurodegenerative conditions. Commercial interest [source]

    When late life brings a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and early life brought trauma.

    A cognitive-analytic understanding of loss of mind
    This paper contrasts the loss of mind from the loss of brain cells in Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions with the threats to one's mind from the mindlessness of others from a cognitive-analytic perspective. Case studies are presented that show how the therapeutic framework of Cognitive-Analytic Therapy (CAT: Ryle 1990, 1995, 1997) can bring containment for both client and therapist for clients facing this dilemma, particularly when past trauma is potentially overwhelming. This is set in a dialogue with the pioneering work of Tom Kitwood (1990, 1995, 1997) in dementia care, in which Kitwood's thesis of the ,malignant social psychology' surrounding people with dementia is re-stated in terms of ,reciprocal roles' developed in Cognitive-Analytic Therapy. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]