Thursday, January 10, 2013

Neuron Food and Misregulation

No doubt you’ve heard the term “neurotrophic growth factor,” referring to substances that provide food for your neurons. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida recently discovered that a lack of one specific protein (TDP-43) can result in defective protein of another type (SORT). And, it appears, SORT regulates yet another protein (progranulin)—involved with one of these neuotrophic growth factors. When the neurons do not have enough of progranulin’s protective effects, this state appears to open the way for the development of dementia: Alzheimers Disease as well as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which afflicts physicist Stephen Hawking. Now the question is, what can contribute to a lack of one specific protein that may begin this cascade toward dementia? The complexity and interaction of neurons and substances in the brain continues to both amaze and mystify!

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