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image: Secrets of Aging

Secrets of Aging

By | September 1, 2011

What does a normally aging brain look like? Are diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s inevitable?

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image: What Causes Alzheimer’s?

What Causes Alzheimer’s?

By | September 1, 2011

Researchers and pharma companies have tried to attack this disease by reducing amyloid plaques, but inflammation may be the real culprit.

39 Comments

image: Lost in Space

Lost in Space

By | September 1, 2011

Looking for a more realistic way to study memory, we turned to place cells­­—­a network of cells that record a rat’s memory of an environment. 

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image: Molecular Learning

Molecular Learning

By | September 1, 2011

Long-term potentiation (LTP), discovered in the 1970s, was later shown to be the molecular basis of memory. 

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image: The Seat of Memory

The Seat of Memory

By | September 1, 2011

Early on, researchers had learned that the hippocampus was the structure in the brain where long-term memories were created and stored, but it was not known whether the different cell types within this structure might be more or less susceptible to the aging process.

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image: The Cytokine Cycle

The Cytokine Cycle

By | September 1, 2011

The initiating cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. However, from our studies it’s clear that many types of neuronal damage—­­from traumatic brain injury, to epilepsy, infection, or genetic predisposition—­can activate brain immune cells—microglia and astrocytes-- promoting them to produce IL-1 and S100 inflammatory cytokines.

12 Comments

image: Nicotine Protects Against Parkinson’s?

Nicotine Protects Against Parkinson’s?

By | August 3, 2011

The addictive component of cigarettes saves dopamine neurons from a Parkinson's-like decline, providing a new avenue for potential treatment.

6 Comments

image: Chimp Brains Don’t Shrink with Age

Chimp Brains Don’t Shrink with Age

By | July 25, 2011

Unlike human brains, chimpanzee brains don’t get smaller as they age, suggesting that pronounced neurological decline is a uniquely human byproduct of our oversized brains and extreme longevity.

33 Comments

image: New insights into Parkinson’s Disease

New insights into Parkinson’s Disease

By | June 8, 2011

A slew of recent studies sheds light on the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson disease.

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image: Pathogens linked to Parkinson's

Pathogens linked to Parkinson's

By | May 19, 2011

Although pathogens have long been suspected to play a role in the neurodegeneration of Parkinson's and related diseases (see our December 2010 feature), very little is understood about the mechanics of the process. 

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