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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Unpleasant Alzheimer’s News

    Here are a couple of new developments in Alzheimer’s and dementia – nothing encouraging, unfortunately. A new paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, from a team that’s looked at multiyear patient records, suggests that there’s a dose-response relationship between use of strong anticholinergic drugs and later development of dementi… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A Dietary Cause for a Neurodegenerative Disease

    This is an interesting paper in itself, and its potential implications are even more so. The authors, from the Institute for Ethnomedicine and the University of Miami, have been studying a neurodegenerative condition found among Chamorro villagers on the island of Guam. The disease (Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia comp… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    Simulating the Brain. Sure Thing.

    My mention the other day of Japan’s Fifth Generation computer project prompted a reader to send along this link, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It concerns the Human Brain Project, currently being funded by the EU, and if you’re offended by procreating inanimate objects, you probably shouldn’t read it. But I feel the author’s f… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The Rising Placebo Effect

    The placebo effect has many interesting and annoying features, among them the way that it varies so much among different therapeutic areas. There is no placebo effect for a broken leg, or for pancreatic cancer: these things are going to play out the way that they do, regardless of what you think about them. But… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Does An Ancient Retrovirus Have Anything to Do with ALS?

    One of the reasons that many people think that organisms can carry around “junk” DNA (that has little or no function) is that up to 8% of our own genomes are remnants of ancient retroviruses. At some points in the distant past, some germ-line cells got infected, had viral DNA spliced into them, and then… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Into the Numbers

    I want to recommend this analysis (at the Mind the Brain blog) of a new paper in PLOS Medicine. The paper is an analysis from a very large Swedish data set of possible links between SSRI antidepressant use and violent crime, which is a contentious topic. As the post by James Coyne notes, there are… Read More
  • Cancer

    Blasting Your Way In

    Getting drugs of any sort through the blood-brain barrier is never something that can be taken for granted, and if your therapeutic agents is well outside the usual size/polarity bounds, you can pretty much take it for granted that it’s not going in at all. The number of techniques that have been tried to get… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Prions In the News (Unfortunately)

    Let’s talk about proteins for a few minutes – nasty, unfriendly proteins, of the sort that will ball up and crash out of solution the first chance they get. Anyone working in a protein purification lab will have encountered plenty of these, and will be familiar with the various tricks available to keep things in… Read More
  • Drug Development

    Loosening Things Up in Japan

    Japan is going to try opening up its medical approval process for regenerative medicine (no doubt with an eye on its aging population). Regulatory changes that started taking effect last fall now allow companies to get conditional approval based on smaller trials, and these apparently don’t even have to be placebo-controlled. The products can… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Invisible Crystals Yield Structure

    A crystallographer colleague passes on this new paper, which I find very interesting and just a bit freaky. The authors (a collaboration between UCLA, HHMI, LBNL, and SLAC) are studying alpha-synuclein, the protein that aggregates in Parkinson’s disease pathology, and more particularly, they’re studying a short (11-amino acid) section o… Read More