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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:06 EDT

Latest Axon Stories

2009-07-24 11:26:07

While repair of the central nervous system has long been considered impossible, French researchers from Inserm, the CNRS and the UPMC have just developed a strategy that could promote neuronal regeneration after injury. The in vitro studies have just been published in the journal PLoS ONE.Repair of the central nervous system and restoration of voluntary motor activity through axonal re-growth has long been considered impossible in mammals. Over the last decade, numerous attempts proved...

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2009-07-21 11:50:00

Every time a neuron sends a signal "“ to move a muscle or form a memory, for example "“ tiny membrane-bound compartments, called vesicles, dump neurotransmitters into the synapse between the cells. Researchers report that this process, which is fundamental to the workings of the nervous system, relies on a simple mechanical reality: Tension in the axon of the presynaptic neuron is required.Without this tension, the researchers found, the vesicles that must haul their chemical...

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2009-06-18 07:35:00

A protein called neuroligin that is implicated in some forms of autism is critical to the construction of a working synapse, locking neurons together like "molecular Velcro," a study lead by a team of UC Davis researchers has found. Published online in the June issue of the journal Neural Development, the study is accompanied by groundbreaking images that are the first to show two neurons coming together using neuroligin to construct a new synapse. "Previous research has suggested that...

2009-06-15 07:39:25

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered how the mutated huntingtin gene acts on the nervous system to create the devastation of Huntington's disease. The report of their findings is available in Nature Neuroscience online.The researchers were able to show that the mutated huntingtin gene activates a particular enzyme, called JNK3, which is expressed only in neurons and, further, to show what effect activation of that enzyme has on neuron...

2009-05-19 13:24:43

A new protein identified as critical to insulating the wiring that connects the brain and body could one day be a treatment target for divergent diseases, from rare ones that lower the pain threshold to cancer, Medical College of Georgia researchers say. They report this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition that in the peripheral nervous system that controls arms and legs, the protein erbin regulates the protein neuregulin 1, stabilizing and interacting...

2009-05-16 09:35:25

The research group of Dr. Fr©d©ric Charron, a researcher at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montr©al (IRCM), has made a discovery which could help treat spinal cord injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. This new finding has been published in the current issue of the prestigious scientific journal Neuron. Patricia T. Yam, S©bastien D. Langlois and Steves Morin, all at the IRCM, are listed as co-authors.The brain is composed of billions of interconnected neurons....

2009-04-21 14:15:02

Proteins go everywhere in the cell and do all sorts of work, but a fundamental question has eluded biologists: How do the proteins know where to go? "There's no little man sitting there, putting the protein in the right place," said Don Arnold, a molecular and computational biologist at USC College. "Proteins have to have in them encoded information that tells them where to go in the cell." In a study appearing online this week in Nature Neuroscience, Arnold and collaborators solve the...

2009-03-18 08:28:20

UCLA researchers find that genes determine brain's processing speedThey say a picture tells a thousand stories, but can it also tell how smart you are? Actually, say UCLA researchers, it can.In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Feb. 18, UCLA neurology professor Paul Thompson and colleagues used a new type of brain-imaging scanner to show that intelligence is strongly influenced by the quality of the brain's axons, or wiring that sends signals throughout the brain. The faster...

2009-03-15 16:15:15

Scientists have identified the first gene that pulls the plug on ailing nerve cell branches from within the nerve cell, possibly helping to trigger the painful condition known as neuropathy.The condition is a side effect of some forms of chemotherapy and can also afflict patients with cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, viral infections, neurodegenerative disorders and other ailments.Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that blocking the dual leucine...

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2009-03-09 13:56:18

Study shows coreceptors work together as 'navigators' for a growing axon To a growing axon, the protein RGMa is a "Wrong Way" sign, alerting it to head in another direction. As Hata et al. demonstrate in the March 9, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, translating that signal into cellular action requires teamwork from two receptors. During development, new synapses form when the growing axon of one neuron reaches another neuron. As an axon searches out the path to its destination, it...