While researchers are busy developing sophisticated laboratory tests to predict who will eventually succumb to Alzheimer’s disease, a seemingly mundane observation may provide one of the strongest predictors yet identified: pain.
Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) report in the October 29th issue of the journal Neurology that elevated levels of the protein alpha-synuclein can be detected in the skin of Parkinson’s disease patients . The finding offers a potential biomarker to enable doctors to identify and diagnose Parkinson’s before the disease has reached an advanced stage.
A good night’s rest may literally clear the mind. Using mice, researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH.
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced yesterday . The prize was awarded to three U.S. scientists for their work on how the cell coordinates its transport system to shuttle proteins and other molecules from one location to another.
The prize of 8-million-Swedish-krona ($1.2-million USD) was divided evenly to Randy W. Schekman, age 65, at the University of California at Berkeley; James E. Rothman, age 63, at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; and Thomas C. Südhof, age 58, at Stanford University, for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in cells.