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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Latest Excitotoxicity Stories

2010-01-04 16:32:24

A drug already used to treat symptoms of epilepsy has potential to slow the muscle weakening that comes with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), scientists report after completing a Phase II clinical trial"”an early, small-scale test to show if the drug works and continues to be safe. A report online December 4 in the journal Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis says the drug talampanel showed some ability to slow the loss of major daily life activities such as speaking, walking and dressing...

2009-11-15 13:02:14

Better understanding of synaptic activity may support 'use it or lose it' hypothesis Investigators at Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham), the University of British Columbia's Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics and the University of California, San Diego have found that normal synaptic activity in nerve cells (the electrical activity in the brain that allows nerve cells to communicate with one another) protects the brain from the misfolded proteins associated with...

2009-11-12 11:34:00

A domain of the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor is mapped in exquisite detail A team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) reports on Thursday their success in solving the molecular structure of a key portion of a cellular receptor implicated in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other serious illnesses. Assistant Professor Hiro Furukawa, Ph.D., and colleagues at CSHL, in cooperation with the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory, obtained crystal...

2009-10-19 17:53:22

Glutamate is to the brain like coffee is to our bodies. A cup of Joe in the morning can wake us, but overloading on caffeine causes the stimulant to work against us. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in a mammal's central nervous system. It is an important component for neuroplasticity, the synaptic communication between neurons. It's also key to learning and memory. But in high concentrations, glutamate becomes toxic-- over-exciting the neurons. Glutamate-induced...

2009-10-19 08:27:16

Study shows PIKfyve protects neurons from calcium overload through degradation of calcium channels Tsuruta et al. find that a lipid kinase directs a voltage-gated calcium channel's degradation to save neurons from a lethal dose of overexcitement. The study appears in the October 19, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. An important player in cellular signaling, calcium is also terribly toxic at high levels. Neurons have evolved ways to protect themselves against the calcium influxes...

2009-06-29 09:49:21

A research article to be published June 21, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team lead by Dr. Gabriela Beatriz Acosta, observed that the activity of GS was increased in the hippocampus in PH rats. There was a significant decrease in glutamate uptake in both brain areas, which was more marked in the hippocampus. The decrease in glutamate uptake might be caused by deficient transport function and persistent glutamate activity, which is not...

2009-06-23 22:36:59

Statins may protect nerve cells against damage known to occur in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients, Dutch researchers suggest. Amalia Dolga of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and colleagues said how nerve cells die in Alzheimer's disease is complex, but it is known that nerve cells eventually die because they are strongly overstimulated -- a process called excitotoxicity. In animal experiments conducted in the laboratory of Ulrich Eisel at the University of Groningen,...

2009-06-17 09:25:00

There is a new "HUMMR" on the block. It is smaller than its automotive counterpart, but no less powerful.Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have identified a protein, which they have dubbed HUMMR (hypoxia upregulated mitochondrial movement regulator) that may shed new light on how the brain recovers from a stroke.The primary role of HUMMR is to regulate the proper transport and distribution of mitochondria throughout the cell, essentially ensuring that they are in the...

2009-06-15 09:55:04

Scientists have identified a protein in the brain that plays a key role in the function of mitochondria "“ the part of the cell that supplies energy, supports cellular activity, and potentially wards off threats from disease. The discovery, which was reported today in the Journal of Cell Biology, may shed new light on how the brain recovers from stroke."Understanding the molecular machinery that helps distribute mitochondria to different parts of the cell has only recently begun to be...

2009-05-12 15:42:11

Canadian researchers say they've discovered cells that support neuron survival also play a role in the death of neurons located in the eye. Researchers from the University of Montreal and McGill University said their findings might lead to improved therapies for some neurological disorders, including glaucoma and retinal artery occlusion. The scientists said in many neurodegenerative diseases, a main factor that kills neurons is excessive levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Diseases...