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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Latest Axon Stories

2010-10-26 02:50:03

Scientists are closer to solving one of the many mysteries of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, thanks to a recent study conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The research revealed a previously unknown connection between two ion channels, which, when misaligned, can cause the many bizarre symptoms that characterize the condition. The findings, reported in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provide...

2010-09-27 17:48:10

Unlike nerves of the spinal cord, the peripheral nerves that connect our limbs and organs to the central nervous system have an astonishing ability to regenerate themselves after injury. Now, a new report in the October 1st issue of Cell, a Cell Press publication, offers new insight into how that healing process works. "We know a lot about how various cell types differentiate during development, but after a serious injury like an amputation, nerves must re-grow," said Allison Lloyd of...

2010-09-27 14:04:40

Researchers at Stanford University were able to use light to induce normal patterns of muscle contraction, in a study involving bioengineered mice whose nerve-cell surfaces are coated with special light-sensitive proteins. The new approach allows scientists to more accurately reproduce muscle firing order, making it a valuable research tool. The investigators, from Stanford's Schools of Medicine and of Engineering, also believe this technique could someday spawn practical applications, from...

2010-08-24 13:07:00

WAUSAU, Wis., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, more than 300,000 student-athletes sustain sports-related head injuries. With the fall sports season just around the corner, this is a startling statistic for parents who worry about the devastating effects concussions can have on their children. Now, a Web-based cognitive assessment tool is available to parents and their athletes through www.axonsports.com. The Axon Sports CCAT is a breakthrough testing system that measures attention,...

2010-06-15 14:13:26

Antibodies "” warrior proteins the immune system makes to defend the body against invading pathogens such as viruses and bacteria "” have a gentler side nobody knew about until now: They function not only as soldiers but also as nurses. And researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine now think antibodies' absence in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) may be a key part of the reason why nerve damage there doesn't get naturally repaired in humans....

2010-06-09 21:43:44

Discovery underscores difficulties in developing regenerative spinal cord injury therapies Neuroscientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that removing three key inhibitory molecules from myelin "“ the insulating material that surrounds nerve cell fibers "“ does not significantly boost the ability of injured spinal axons to regenerate and restore themselves to full function. "I think this just shows how incredibly complicated the challenge...

2010-04-15 13:09:18

Cultured cells in microfluidic chambers enable systematic experiments at the synapse In order to be able to understand complex organs such as the brain or the nervous system, simplified model systems are required. A group of scientists led by the Frankfurt brain researcher Erin Schuman has successfully developed a novel method to grow cultured neurons in order to investigate basic mechanisms of memory. The researchers grew two separate populations of neurons in microfluidic platforms. These...

2010-01-26 12:20:40

Scientists at the Babraham Institute have discovered a novel survival factor whose rapid transport along nerve cells is crucial for keeping them alive. The same factor seems likely to be needed to keep our nerves healthy as we age. These findings, published today in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, show that a molecule known as Nmnat2 provides a protective function; in its absence healthy, uninjured nerve cells start to degenerate and boosting levels of Nmnat2 can delay...

2010-01-15 17:33:51

In the February 1st issue of G&D, Dr. Brian Popko (The University of Chicago) and colleagues describe how mutation of a gene called ZFP191 leads to disordered CNS myelination in mice -- reminiscent of what is seen in human multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The paper will be released online ahead of print at www.genesdev.org. MS is a chronic autoimmune disorder, in which the body attacks and destroys the myelin sheath that insulates and protects nerve fibers of the central nervous system...

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2010-01-10 14:03:33

Tuberous sclerosis, commonly associated with autism, is linked to defects in axon guidance Studying a rare disorder known as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), researchers at Children's Hospital Boston add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that autism spectrum disorders, which affect 25 to 50 percent of TSC patients, result from a miswiring of connections in the developing brain, leading to improper information flow. The finding may also help explain why many people with TSC have...