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Latest Motor neuron Stories

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2011-01-31 09:21:10

Among stem cell biologists there are few better-known proteins than nestin, whose very presence in an immature cell identifies it as a "stem cell," such as a neural stem cell. As helpful as this is to researchers, until now no one knew which purpose nestin serves in a cell. In a study published in the Jan. 30, 2011, advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience, Salk Institute of Biological Studies investigators led by Kuo-Fen Lee, PhD., show that nestin has reason for being in a completely...

2011-01-17 12:19:31

When danger looms, locusts on the ground leap and fly away. The timing and precision of that leap starts with the complex coding of visual information within a single neuron. In the current edition of the journal Neuron, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Utah uncovered three distinct features in the communication process of a sensory neuron that control distinct motor aspects of escape behavior "“ firing rate threshold, peak firing time and spike count....

2010-09-20 22:20:23

A team of researchers, led by Scott Oakes, at the University of California, San Francisco, has identified a way to prevent symptom onset, weight loss, and paralysis and extend survival in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), providing a new avenue of research for the development of therapeutics for ALS and other motor neuron diseases. ALS and other motor neuron diseases are neurological disorders that selectively affect nerve cells that...

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2010-09-09 08:18:03

Discovery could help scientists develop new treatments for motor neuron diseases In a surprising and unexpected discovery, scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that a single type of gene acts as a master organizer of motor neurons in the spinal cord. The finding, published in the September 9, 2010 issue of Neuron, could help scientists develop new treatments for diseases such as Lou Gehrig's disease or spinal cord injury. The "master organizer" is a member of the Hox family of...

2010-09-02 12:43:21

Scientists have devised a method for coaxing mouse embryonic stem cells into forming a highly specific motor neuron subtype. The research, published by Cell Press in the September 3rd issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, provides new insight into motor neuron differentiation and may prove useful for devising and testing future therapies for motor neuron diseases. Motor neurons in the spinal cord communicate with other neurons in the central nervous system and send long projections out to...

2010-08-26 12:32:09

New research uncovers what may be a primary neuron-damaging insult that occurs in an inherited form of a devastating neurodegenerative disorder. The study, published by Cell Press in the August 26th issue of the journal Neuron, describes a critical mechanistic link between a mutant protein and disease pathogenesis in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a disease that attacks the neurons in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement. There is no cure...

2009-09-18 10:37:57

Johns Hopkins Neuroscientists Discover New Molecular Control Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have discovered how one antioxidant protein controls the activity of another protein, critical for the development of spinal cord neurons. The research, publishing this week in Cell, describes a never-before known mechanism of protein control. "This is the first time we've seen this type of chemical reaction control neuronal differentiation," says Shanthini Sockanathan, Ph.D., an...

2009-08-12 12:32:45

New research with transgenic mice reveals that a therapy directed at the muscle significantly improves disease symptoms of a genetic disorder characterized by destruction of the neurons that control movement. The study, published by Cell Press in the August 13th issue of the journal Neuron, highlights a promising new treatment for this currently incurable and nontreatable neurodegenerative disorder.Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), or Kennedy's disease, is a neurodegenerative disease...

2009-06-10 12:37:53

Two signals "“ an external one from retinoic acid and an internal one from the transcription factor Neurogenin2 "“ cooperate to activate chromatin (the basic material of chromosomes) and help determine that certain nerve progenitor cells become motor neurons, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron."This finding is important for many reasons. For example, as we understand more about what happens, the...

2009-04-01 09:08:13

A U.S. evolutionary biologist says chimpanzees, which are several times stronger than humans, gain strength from their brains, as well as their muscles. Although great apes are known to have more powerful muscles than humans, Pennsylvania State University Professor Alan Walker argues humans might lack the strength of chimps because human nervous systems exert more control over human muscles. That fine motor control, he said, prevents great feats of strength but allows the performance of...