Researchers have discovered some surprising insights about the process of axonal pruning. The findings could provide clues about the processes underlying some neurological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
Researchers have discovered a way in which the body can remove injured axons. They also identified a potential target for new drugs which could prevent the inappropriate loss of axons, as well as maintain nerve function.
Research seeks the 'master knob' to turn on nerve repair. Modulating immune response to injury could accelerate the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves, a new study in an animal model has found. By altering activity of the macrophage cells that respond to injuries, researchers dramatically increased the rate at which nerve processes regrew.
Researchers were able to regenerate an astonishing degree of axonal growth at the site of severe spinal cord injury in rats. Results were then replicated using two human stem cell lines, one already in human trials for ALS. “We obtained the exact results using human cells as we had in the rat cells,” said Tuszynski.
Using bioluminescent proteins from a jellyfish, scientists lit up the inside of a neuron, capturing spectacular video footage that shows the movement of proteins throughout the cell. The video offers a rare peek at how proteins, the brain's building blocks, are directed through neurons to renew its structure.