Friday, August 23, 2013

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

New findings by researchers at Stanford University, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, have made a connection between brain aging and a protein called C1q. 
Levels of C1q appear to increase with the aging process. This protein, secreted by microglia (the brain's own  immune system cells) appears to lodge in synapses, the point between neurons, and is associated with cell death after a brain injury occurs.  According to professor and chair of neurobiology and senior author of the study, Ben Barres MD, PhD: “The first regions of the brain to show a dramatic increase in C1q are places like the hippocampus and substantia nigra, the precise brain regions most vulnerable to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, respectively.” Children don’t get Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and these findings may help to explain reasons behind that phenomenon.

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