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Sample records for age-associated neurodegenerative diseases

  1. Cause and Consequence: Mitochondrial Dysfunction Initiates and Propagates Neuronal Dysfunction, Neuronal Death and Behavioral Abnormalities in Age Associated Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Gary E.; Starkov, Anatoly; Blass, John P.; Ratan, Rajiv R.; Beal, M. Flint

    2009-01-01

    approaches in age associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19715758

  2. Optogenetics for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Vann, Kiara T; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating conditions that lead to progressive degeneration of neurons. Neurodegeneration may result in ataxia, dementia, and muscle atrophies, etc. Despite enormous research efforts that have been made, there is lack of effective therapeutic interventions for most of these diseases. Optogenetics is a recently developed novel technique that combines optics and genetics to modulate the activity of specific neurons. Optogenetics has been implemented in various studies including neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advance in using this technique for the studies of common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27186317

  3. Driving and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Uc, Ergun Y; Rizzo, Matthew

    2008-09-01

    The proportion of elderly people in the general population is rising, resulting in greater numbers of drivers with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. These neurodegenerative disorders impair cognition, visual perception, and motor function, leading to reduced driver fitness and greater crash risk. Yet neither medical diagnosis nor age alone is reliable enough to predict driver safety or crashes or to revoke the driving privileges of these individuals. Driving research utilizes tools such as questionnaires about driving habits and history, driving simulators, standardized road tests utilizing instrumented vehicles, and state driving records. Research challenges include outlining the evolution of driving safety, understanding the mechanisms of driving impairment, and developing a reliable and efficient standardized test battery for prediction of driver safety in neurodegenerative disorders. This information will enable healthcare providers to advise their patients with neurodegenerative disorders with more certainty, affect policy, and help develop rehabilitative measures for driving. PMID:18713573

  4. Sleep in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Iranzo, Alex

    2016-03-01

    Disorders of sleep are an integral part of neurodegenerative diseases and include insomnia, sleep-wake cycle disruption, excessive daytime sleepiness that may be manifested as persistent somnolence or sudden onset of sleep episodes, obstructive and central sleep apnea, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and restless legs syndrome. The origin of these sleep disorders is multifactorial including degeneration of the brain areas that modulate sleep, the symptoms of the disease, and the effect of medications. Treatment of sleep disorders in patients with neurodegenerative diseases should be individualized and includes behavioral therapy, sleep hygiene, bright light therapy, melatonin, hypnotics, waking-promoting agents, and continuous positive airway pressure. PMID:26972029

  5. Glutamate and Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Eric; Duplantier, Allen

    As the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, glutamate is critically involved in most aspects of CNS function. Given this critical role, it is not surprising that glutamatergic dysfunction is associated with many CNS disorders. In this chapter, we review the literature that links aberrant glutamate neurotransmission with CNS pathology, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. The biology and pharmacology of the various glutamate receptor families are discussed, along with data which links these receptors with neurodegenerative conditions. In addition, we review progress that has been made in developing small molecule modulators of glutamate receptors and transporters, and describe how these compounds have helped us understand the complex pharmacology of glutamate in normal CNS function, as well as their potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  6. Glycoproteomics in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Hyejin; Zhang, Jianpeng; Chung, Kathryn A.; Leverenz, James B.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.; Peskind, Elaine R.; Jankovic, Joseph; Su, Zhen; Hancock, Aneeka M.; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Thomas J.; Pan, Sheng; Nutt, John; Albin, Roger; Gearing, Marla; Beyer, Richard P.; Shi, Min; Zhang, Jing

    2009-01-01

    Protein glycosylation regulates protein function and cellular distribution. Additionally, aberrant protein glycosylations have been recognized to play major roles in human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Glycoproteomics, a branch of proteomics that catalogs and quantifies glycoproteins, provides a powerful means to systematically profile the glycopeptides or glycoproteins of a complex mixture that are highly enriched in body fluids, and therefore, carry great potential to be diagnostic and/or prognostic markers. Application of this mass spectrometry-based technology to the study of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) is relatively new, and is expected to provide insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, as well as biomarker discovery. In this review, we have summarized the current understanding of glycoproteins in biology and neurodegenerative disease, and have discussed existing proteomic technologies that are utilized to characterize glycoproteins. Some of the ongoing studies, where glycoproteins isolated from cerebrospinal fluid and human brain are being characterized in Parkinson's disease at different stages versus controls, are presented, along with future applications of targeted validation of brain specific glycoproteins in body fluids. PMID:19358229

  7. Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Amor, Sandra; Puentes, Fabiola; Baker, David; van der Valk, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegeneration, the slow and progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons and axons in the central nervous system, is the primary pathological feature of acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, neurotropic viral infections, stroke, paraneoplastic disorders, traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Despite different triggering events, a common feature is chronic immune activation, in particular of microglia, the resident macrophages of the central nervous system. Apart from the pathogenic role of immune responses, emerging evidence indicates that immune responses are also critical for neuroregeneration. Here, we review the impact of innate and adaptive immune responses on the central nervous system in autoimmune, viral and other neurodegenerative disorders, and discuss their contribution to either damage or repair. We also discuss potential therapies aimed at the immune responses within the central nervous system. A better understanding of the interaction between the immune and nervous systems will be crucial to either target pathogenic responses, or augment the beneficial effects of immune responses as a strategy to intervene in chronic neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:20561356

  8. Essential Tremor: A Neurodegenerative Disease?

    PubMed Central

    Benito-León, Julián

    2014-01-01

    Background Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurological disorders among adults, and is the most common of the many tremor disorders. It has classically been viewed as a benign monosymptomatic condition, yet over the past decade, a growing body of evidence indicates that ET is a progressive condition that is clinically heterogeneous, as it may be associated with a spectrum of clinical features, with both motor and non-motor elements. In this review, I will describe the most significant emerging milestones in research which, when taken together, suggest that ET is a neurodegenerative condition. Methods A PubMed search conducted in June 2014 crossing the terms “essential tremor” (ET) and “neurodegenerative” yielded 122 entries, 20 of which included the term “neurodegenerative” in the article title. This was supplemented by articles in the author's files that pertained to this topic. Results/Discussion There is an open and active dialogue in the medical community as to whether ET is a neurodegenerative disease, with considerable evidence in favor of this. Specifically, ET is a progressive disorder of aging associated with neuronal loss (reduction in Purkinje cells) as well as other post-mortem changes that occur in traditional neurodegenerative disorders. Along with this, advanced neuroimaging techniques are now demonstrating distinct structural changes, several of which are consistent with neuronal loss, in patients with ET. However, further longitudinal clinical and neuroimaging longitudinal studies to assess progression are required. PMID:25120943

  9. Targeting autophagy in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Vidal, René L; Matus, Soledad; Bargsted, Leslie; Hetz, Claudio

    2014-11-01

    The most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders involve protein misfolding and the aggregation of specific proteins. Autophagy is becoming an attractive target to treat neurodegenerative disorders through the selective degradation of abnormally folded proteins by the lysosomal pathway. However, accumulating evidence indicates that autophagy impairment at different regulatory steps may contribute to the neurodegenerative process. Thus, a complex scenario is emerging where autophagy may play a dual role in neurodegenerative diseases by causing the downstream effect of promoting the degradation of misfolded proteins and an upstream effect where its deregulation perturbs global proteostasis, contributing to disease progression. Challenges in the future development of therapeutic strategies to target the autophagy pathway are discussed. PMID:25270767

  10. Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Niedzielska, Ewa; Smaga, Irena; Gawlik, Maciej; Moniczewski, Andrzej; Stankowicz, Piotr; Pera, Joanna; Filip, Małgorzata

    2016-08-01

    The pathophysiologies of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD), are far from being fully explained. Oxidative stress (OS) has been proposed as one factor that plays a potential role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Clinical and preclinical studies indicate that neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by higher levels of OS biomarkers and by lower levels of antioxidant defense biomarkers in the brain and peripheral tissues. In this article, we review the current knowledge regarding the involvement of OS in neurodegenerative diseases, based on clinical trials and animal studies. In addition, we analyze the effects of the drug-induced modulation of oxidative balance, and we explore pharmacotherapeutic strategies for OS reduction. PMID:26198567

  11. DNA damage in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Coppedè, Fabio; Migliore, Lucia

    2015-06-01

    Following the observation of increased oxidative DNA damage in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA extracted from post-mortem brain regions of patients affected by neurodegenerative diseases, the last years of the previous century and the first decade of the present one have been largely dedicated to the search of markers of DNA damage in neuronal samples and peripheral tissues of patients in early, intermediate or late stages of neurodegeneration. Those studies allowed to demonstrate that oxidative DNA damage is one of the earliest detectable events in neurodegeneration, but also revealed cytogenetic damage in neurodegenerative conditions, such as for example a tendency towards chromosome 21 malsegregation in Alzheimer's disease. As it happens for many neurodegenerative risk factors the question of whether DNA damage is cause or consequence of the neurodegenerative process is still open, and probably both is true. The research interest in markers of oxidative stress was shifted, in recent years, towards the search of epigenetic biomarkers of neurodegenerative disorders, following the accumulating evidence of a substantial contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to learning, memory processes, behavioural disorders and neurodegeneration. Increasing evidence is however linking DNA damage and repair with epigenetic phenomena, thereby opening the way to a very attractive and timely research topic in neurodegenerative diseases. We will address those issues in the context of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which represent three of the most common neurodegenerative pathologies in humans. PMID:26255941

  12. Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Johri, Ashu

    2012-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a large group of disabling disorders of the nervous system, characterized by the relative selective death of neuronal subtypes. In most cases, there is overwhelming evidence of impaired mitochondrial function as a causative factor in these diseases. More recently, evidence has emerged for impaired mitochondrial dynamics (shape, size, fission-fusion, distribution, movement etc.) in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Here, we provide a concise overview of the major findings in recent years highlighting the importance of healthy mitochondria for a healthy neuron. PMID:22700435

  13. Mechanisms of protein seeding in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Walker, Lary C; Diamond, Marc I; Duff, Karen E; Hyman, Bradley T

    2013-03-01

    Most age-associated neurodegenerative diseases involve the aggregation of specific proteins within the nervous system. In Alzheimer disease, the insidious pathogenic process begins many years before the symptoms emerge, and the lesions that characterize the disease—senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles—ramify systematically through the brain. We review evidence that the -amyloid and tau proteins, which aggregate to form senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, respectively, are induced to misfold and self-assemble by a process of templated conformational change that amplifies a toxic species. Recent data also indicate that the spread of these lesions from one site to another is mediated by the cellular uptake, transport, and release of endogenous seeds formed by the cognate proteins. This simple pathogenic principle suggests that the formation, trafficking, and metabolism of pathogenic protein seeds are promising therapeutic targets for Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23599928

  14. Neurodegenerative diseases: From available treatments to prospective herbal therapy.

    PubMed

    Solanki, Isha; Parihar, Priyanka; Parihar, Mordhwaj Singh

    2016-05-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and many others represent a relevant health problem with age worldwide. Efforts have been made in recent years to discover the mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases and prospective therapy that can help to slow down the effects of the aging and prevent these diseases. Since pathogenesis of these diseases involves multiple factors therefore the important task for neuroscientists is to identify such multiple factors and prevent age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. For these neurodegenerative diseases yet we have only palliative therapies and none of them significantly capable to slow down or halt the underlying pathology. Polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids present in vegetables and fruits are believed to have anti-aging properties and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Despite their abundance, investigations into the benefits of these polyphenolic compounds in human health have only recently begun. Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the potential beneficial effects of flavonoids in neurons. Although clinical trials on the effectiveness of dietary flavonoids to treat human diseases are limited but various animal models and cell culture studies have shown a great promise in developing these compounds as suitable therapeutic targets. In this review, we elaborate the neuroprotective properties of flavonoids especially their applications in prevention and intervention of different neurodegenerative diseases. Their multi-target properties may allow them to be potential dietary supplement in prevention and treatment of the age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26550708

  15. Hyperhomocysteinemia: Impact on Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Meenakshi; Tiwari, Manisha; Tiwari, Rakesh Kumar

    2015-11-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are the diseases of the central nervous system with various aetiology and symptoms. Dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and autism are some examples of neurodegenerative diseases. Hyperhomocysteinemia (Hhcy) is considered to be an independent risk factor for numerous pathological conditions under neurodegenerative diseases. Along with genetic factors that are the prime cause of homocysteine (Hcy) imbalance, the nutritional and hormonal factors are also contributing to high Hcy levels in the body. Numerous clinical and epidemiological data confirm the direct correlation of Hcy levels in the body and generation of different types of central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and others. Till now, it is difficult to say whether homocysteine is the cause of the disease or whether it is one of the impacts of the diseases. However, Hhcy is a surrogate marker of vitamin B deficiency and is a neurotoxic agent. This Mini Review will give an overview of how far research has gone into understanding the homocysteine imbalance with prognostic, causative and preventive measures in treating neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26036286

  16. Depressive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Baquero, Miquel; Martín, Nuria

    2015-01-01

    Depressive symptoms are very common in chronic conditions. This is true so for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of patients with cognitive decline and dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal degeneration amongst other entities, experience depressive symptoms in greater or lesser grade at some point during the course of the illness. Depressive symptoms have a particular significance in neurological disorders, specially in neurodegenerative diseases, because brain, mind, behavior and mood relationship. A number of patients may develop depressive symptoms in early stages of the neurologic disease, occurring without clear presence of cognitive decline with only mild cognitive deterioration. Classically, depression constitutes a reliable diagnostic challenge in this setting. However, actually we can recognize and evaluate depressive, cognitive or motor symptoms of neurodegenerative disease in order to establish their clinical significance and to plan some therapeutic strategies. Depressive symptoms can appear also lately, when the neurodegenerative disease is fully developed. The presence of depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms have a negative impact on the quality-of-life of patients and caregivers. Besides, patients with depressive symptoms also tend to further decrease function and reduce cognitive abilities and also uses to present more affected clinical status, compared with patients without depression. Depressive symptoms are treatable. Early detection of depressive symptoms is very important in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in order to initiate the most adequate treatment. We review in this paper the main neurodegenerative diseases, focusing in depressive symptoms of each other entities and current recommendations of management and treatment. PMID:26301229

  17. Depressive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Baquero, Miquel; Martín, Nuria

    2015-08-16

    Depressive symptoms are very common in chronic conditions. This is true so for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of patients with cognitive decline and dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and related conditions like Parkinson's disease, Lewy body disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal degeneration amongst other entities, experience depressive symptoms in greater or lesser grade at some point during the course of the illness. Depressive symptoms have a particular significance in neurological disorders, specially in neurodegenerative diseases, because brain, mind, behavior and mood relationship. A number of patients may develop depressive symptoms in early stages of the neurologic disease, occurring without clear presence of cognitive decline with only mild cognitive deterioration. Classically, depression constitutes a reliable diagnostic challenge in this setting. However, actually we can recognize and evaluate depressive, cognitive or motor symptoms of neurodegenerative disease in order to establish their clinical significance and to plan some therapeutic strategies. Depressive symptoms can appear also lately, when the neurodegenerative disease is fully developed. The presence of depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms have a negative impact on the quality-of-life of patients and caregivers. Besides, patients with depressive symptoms also tend to further decrease function and reduce cognitive abilities and also uses to present more affected clinical status, compared with patients without depression. Depressive symptoms are treatable. Early detection of depressive symptoms is very important in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in order to initiate the most adequate treatment. We review in this paper the main neurodegenerative diseases, focusing in depressive symptoms of each other entities and current recommendations of management and treatment. PMID:26301229

  18. Omental transplantation for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Rafael, Hernando

    2014-01-01

    Up to date, almost all researchers consider that there is still no effective therapy for neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and therefore, these diseases are incurable. However, since May 1998, we know that a progressive ischemia in the medial temporal lobes and subcommissural regions can cause Alzheimer’s disease; because, in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omental tissue can cure or improve this disease. Likewise we observed that the aging process, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; all of them are of ischemic origin caused by cerebral atherosclerosis, associated with vascular anomalies and/or environmental chemicals. On the contrary, an omental transplantation on the affected zone can stop and improve these diseases. For these reasons, I believe that NDDs, are wrongly classified as neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25232510

  19. Metal imaging in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bourassa, Megan W.

    2014-01-01

    Metal ions are known to play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and prion diseases. In these diseases, aberrant metal binding or improper regulation of redox active metal ions can induce oxidative stress by producing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Altered metal homeostasis is also frequently seen in the diseased state. As a result, the imaging of metals in intact biological cells and tissues has been very important for understanding the role of metals in neurodegenerative diseases. A wide range of imaging techniques have been utilized, including X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM), particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), all of which allow for the imaging of metals in biological specimens with high spatial resolution and detection sensitivity. These techniques represent unique tools for advancing the understanding of the disease mechanisms and for identifying possible targets for developing treatments. In this review, we will highlight the advances in neurodegenerative disease research facilitated by metal imaging techniques. PMID:22797194

  20. Transglutaminase activation in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jeitner, Thomas M; Muma, Nancy A; Battaile, Kevin P; Cooper, Arthur JL

    2009-01-01

    The following review examines the role of calcium in promoting the in vitro and in vivo activation of transglutaminases in neurodegenerative disorders. Diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease exhibit increased transglutaminase activity and rises in intracellular calcium concentrations, which may be related. The aberrant activation of transglutaminase by calcium is thought to give rise to a variety of pathological moieties in these diseases, and the inhibition has been shown to have therapeutic benefit in animal and cellular models of neurodegeneration. Given the potential clinical relevance of transglutaminase inhibitors, we have also reviewed the recent development of such compounds. PMID:20161049

  1. Ubiquitin pathways in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Atkin, Graham; Paulson, Henry

    2014-01-01

    Control of proper protein synthesis, function, and turnover is essential for the health of all cells. In neurons these demands take on the additional importance of supporting and regulating the highly dynamic connections between neurons that are necessary for cognitive function, learning, and memory. Regulating multiple unique synaptic protein environments within a single neuron while maintaining cell health requires the highly regulated processes of ubiquitination and degradation of ubiquitinated proteins through the proteasome. In this review, we examine the effects of dysregulated ubiquitination and protein clearance on the handling of disease-associated proteins and neuronal health in the most common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25071440

  2. Tau imaging in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Dani, M; Brooks, D J; Edison, P

    2016-06-01

    Aggregated tau protein is a major neuropathological substrate central to the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In AD, it has been shown that the density of hyperphosphorylated tau tangles correlates closely with neuronal dysfunction and cell death, unlike β-amyloid. Until now, diagnostic and pathologic information about tau deposition has only been available from invasive techniques such as brain biopsy or autopsy. The recent development of selective in-vivo tau PET imaging ligands including [(18)F]THK523, [(18)F]THK5117, [(18)F]THK5105 and [(18)F]THK5351, [(18)F]AV1451(T807) and [(11)C]PBB3 has provided information about the role of tau in the early phases of neurodegenerative diseases, and provided support for diagnosis, prognosis, and imaging biomarkers to track disease progression. Moreover, the spatial and longitudinal relationship of tau distribution compared with β - amyloid and other pathologies in these diseases can be mapped. In this review, we discuss the role of aggregated tau in tauopathies, the challenges posed in developing selective tau ligands as biomarkers, the state of development in tau tracers, and the new clinical information that has been uncovered, as well as the opportunities for improving diagnosis and designing clinical trials in the future. PMID:26572762

  3. Emotional dysfunctions in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Löffler, Leonie A K; Radke, Sina; Morawetz, Carmen; Derntl, Birgit

    2016-06-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized primarily by motor signs but are also accompanied by emotional disturbances. Because of the limited knowledge about these dysfunctions, this Review provides an overview of emotional competencies in Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and multiple sclerosis (MS), with a focus on emotion recognition, emotion regulation, and depression. Most studies indicate facial emotion recognition deficits in HD and PD, whereas data for MS are inconsistent. On a neural level, dysfunctions of amygdala and striatum, among others, have been linked to these impairments. These dysfunctions also tap brain regions that are part of the emotion regulation network, suggesting problems in this competency, too. Research points to dysfunctional emotion regulation in MS, whereas findings for PD and HD are missing. The high prevalence of depression in all three disorders emphasizes the need for effective therapies. Research on emotional disturbances might improve treatment, thereby increasing patients' and caregivers' well-being. PMID:26011035

  4. Peptide aggregation in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Regina M

    2002-01-01

    In the not-so-distant past, insoluble aggregated protein was considered as uninteresting and bothersome as yesterday's trash. More recently, protein aggregates have enjoyed considerable scientific interest, as it has become clear that these aggregates play key roles in many diseases. In this review, we focus attention on three polypeptides: beta-amyloid, prion, and huntingtin, which are linked to three feared neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's, "mad cow," and Huntington's disease, respectively. These proteins lack any significant primary sequence homology, yet their aggregates possess very similar features, specifically, high beta-sheet content, fibrillar morphology, relative insolubility, and protease resistance. Because the aggregates are noncrystalline, secrets of their structure at nanometer resolution are only slowly yielding to X-ray diffraction, solid-state NMR, and other techniques. Besides structure, the aggregates may possess similar pathways of assembly. Two alternative assembly pathways have been proposed: the nucleation-elongation and the template-assisted mode. These two modes may be complementary, not mutually exclusive. Strategies for interfering with aggregation, which may provide novel therapeutic approaches, are under development. The structural similarities between protein aggregates of dissimilar origin suggest that therapeutic strategies successful against one disease may have broad utility in others. PMID:12117755

  5. Amyloidosis in Retinal Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer's patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a "window" to the brain. PMID:27551275

  6. Amyloidosis in Retinal Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a “window” to the brain. PMID:27551275

  7. Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Risacher, Shannon L.; Saykin, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders leading to dementia are common diseases that affect many older and some young adults. Neuroimaging methods are important tools for assessing and monitoring pathological brain changes associated with progressive neurodegenerative conditions. In this review, the authors describe key findings from neuroimaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and radionucleotide imaging) in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prodromal stages, familial and atypical AD syndromes, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, and prion protein associated diseases (i.e., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The authors focus on neuroimaging findings of in vivo pathology in these disorders, as well as the potential for neuroimaging to provide useful information for differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24234359

  8. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Chunyan; Sun, Li; Chen, Xueping; Zhang, Danshen

    2013-01-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Oxidative stress is characterized by the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, which can induce mitochondrial DNA mutations, damage the mitochondrial respiratory chain, alter membrane permeability, and influence Ca2+ homeostasis and mitochondrial defense systems. All these changes are implicated in the development of these neurodegenerative diseases, mediating or amplifying neuronal dysfunction and triggering neurodegeneration. This paper summarizes the contribution of oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage to the onset of neurodegenerative eases and discusses strategies to modify mitochondrial dysfunction that may be attractive therapeutic interventions for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25206509

  9. [Microglial Phagocytosis in the Neurodegenerative Diseases].

    PubMed

    Cao, Sheng-nan; Bao, Xiu-qi; Sun, Hua; Zhang, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Microglia are the resident innate immune cells in the brain. Under endogenous or exogenous stimulates, they become activated and play an important role in the neurodegenerative diseases. Microglial phagocytosis is a process of receptor-mediated engulfment and degradation of apoptotic cells. In addition, microglia can phagocyte brain-specific cargo, such as myelin debris and abnormal protein aggregation. However, recent studies have shown that microglia can also phagocyte stressed-but-viable neurons, causing loss of neurons in the brain. Thus, whether microglial phagocytosis is beneficial or not in neurodegenerative disease remains controversial. This article reviews microglial phagocytosis related mechanisms and its potential roles in neurodegenerative diseases, with an attempt to provide new insights in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27181903

  10. Role of iron in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai; Reichmann, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    Currently, we still lack effective measures to modify disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. Iron-containing proteins play an essential role in many fundamental biological processes in the central nervous system. In addition, iron is a redox-active ion and can induce oxidative stress in the cell. Although the causes and pathology hallmarks of different neurodegenerative diseases vary, iron dyshomeostasis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial injury constitute a common pathway to cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases. MRI is capable of depicting iron content in the brain, and serves as a potential biomarker for early and differential diagnosis, tracking disease progression and evaluating the effectiveness of neuroprotective therapy. Iron chelators have shown their efficacy against neurodegeneration in a series of animal models, and been applied in several clinical trials. In this review, we summarize recent developments on iron dyshomeostasis in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Friedreich ataxia, and Huntington's disease. PMID:26794939

  11. Abnormal Mitochondrial Dynamics and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Su, Bo; Wang, Xinglong; Zheng, Ling; Perry, George; Smith, Mark A.; Zhu, Xiongwei

    2009-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of various neurodegenerative diseases. A deeper understanding of the remarkably dynamic nature of mitochondria, characterized by a delicate balance of fission and fusion, has helped to fertilize a recent wave of new studies demonstrating abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This review highlights mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease and discusses how these abnormal mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to mitochondrial and neuronal dysfunction. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics represents a key common pathway that mediates or amplifies mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal dysfunction during the course of neurodegeneration. PMID:19799998

  12. Neurodegenerative disease: a different view of diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Hardy, J; Gwinn-Hardy, K

    1999-12-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases have traditionally been defined as clinicopathological entities. Although this has been a productive paradigm in terms of the development of treatment strategies, molecular genetic approaches have revealed that there is overlap between different entities in pathogenic mechanisms. In this article, it is argued that neurodegenerative disease should also be thought of as the consequences of sequential biochemical processes, and that some parts of these processes appear to operate in more than one disease entity. Defining these pathways and, in particular, developing an appreciation of the commonalities between different diseases, should aid in the development of therapies that are effective in several diseases. PMID:10562716

  13. Oligonucleotide-based therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Magen, Iddo; Hornstein, Eran

    2014-10-10

    Molecular genetics insight into the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer׳s disease, Parkinson׳s disease, Huntington׳s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encourages direct interference with the activity of neurotoxic genes or the molecular activation of neuroprotective pathways. Oligonucleotide-based therapies are recently emerging as an efficient strategy for drug development and these can be employed as new treatments of neurodegenerative states. Here we review advances in this field in recent years which suggest an encouraging assessment that oligonucleotide technologies for targeting of RNAs will enable the development of new therapies and will contribute to preservation of brain integrity. PMID:24727531

  14. Nutraceuticals and amyloid neurodegenerative diseases: a focus on natural phenols.

    PubMed

    Rigacci, Stefania; Stefani, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    A common molecular feature of amyloid neurodegenerative diseases is the unfolding/misfolding of specific proteins/peptides which consequently become prone to aggregate into toxic assemblies and deposits that are the key histopathological trait of these pathologies. Apart from the rare early-onset familiar forms, these neurodegenerative diseases are age-associated disorders whose symptoms appear in aged people after long incubation periods. This makes the therapeutic approach particularly compelling and boosts the search for both early diagnostic tools and preventive approaches. In this last respect, natural compounds commonly present in foods and beverages are considered promising molecules, at least on the bench side. The so-called 'nutraceutical approach' suggests life-long healthy diets, particularly focusing on food molecules that are candidates to enter clinical trials as such or following a targeted molecular engineering. Natural phenols abundant in 'healthy' foods such as extra virgin olive oil, red wine, green tea, red berries and spices, appear particularly promising. PMID:25418871

  15. Walking the tightrope: proteostasis and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Yerbury, Justin J; Ooi, Lezanne; Dillin, Andrew; Saunders, Darren N; Hatters, Danny M; Beart, Philip M; Cashman, Neil R; Wilson, Mark R; Ecroyd, Heath

    2016-05-01

    A characteristic of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is the aggregation of specific proteins into protein inclusions and/or plaques in degenerating brains. While much of the aggregated protein consists of disease specific proteins, such as amyloid-β, α-synuclein, or superoxide dismutase1 (SOD1), many other proteins are known to aggregate in these disorders. Although the role of protein aggregates in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases remains unknown, the ubiquitous association of misfolded and aggregated proteins indicates that significant dysfunction in protein homeostasis (proteostasis) occurs in these diseases. Proteostasis is the concept that the integrity of the proteome is in fine balance and requires proteins in a specific conformation, concentration, and location to be functional. In this review, we discuss the role of specific mechanisms, both inside and outside cells, which maintain proteostasis, including molecular chaperones, protein degradation pathways, and the active formation of inclusions, in neurodegenerative diseases associated with protein aggregation. A characteristic of many neurodegenerative diseases is the aggregation of specific proteins, which alone provides strong evidence that protein homeostasis is disrupted in these disease states. Proteostasis is the maintenance of the proteome in the correct conformation, concentration, and location by functional pathways such as molecular chaperones and protein degradation machinery. Here, we discuss the potential roles of quality control pathways, both inside and outside cells, in the loss of proteostasis during aging and disease. PMID:26872075

  16. DNA methylation, a hand behind neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Haoyang; Liu, Xinzhou; Deng, Yulin; Qing, Hong

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations represent a sort of functional modifications related to the genome that are not responsible for changes in the nucleotide sequence. DNA methylation is one of such epigenetic modifications that have been studied intensively for the past several decades. The transfer of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine is the key feature of DNA methylation. A simple change as such can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be the cause of many serious diseases including several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have reviewed and summarized recent progress regarding DNA methylation in four major neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The studies of these four major neurodegenerative diseases conclude the strong suggestion of the important role DNA methylation plays in these diseases. However, each of these diseases has not yet been understood completely as details in some areas remain unclear, and will be investigated in future studies. We hope this review can provide new insights into the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases from the epigenetic perspective. PMID:24367332

  17. Visual Spatial Cognition in Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Possin, Katherine L.

    2011-01-01

    Visual spatial impairment is often an early symptom of neurodegenerative disease; however, this multi-faceted domain of cognition is not well-assessed by most typical dementia evaluations. Neurodegenerative diseases cause circumscribed atrophy in distinct neural networks, and accordingly, they impact visual spatial cognition in different and characteristic ways. Anatomically-focused visual spatial assessment can assist the clinician in making an early and accurate diagnosis. This article will review the literature on visual spatial cognition in neurodegenerative disease clinical syndromes, and where research is available, by neuropathologic diagnoses. Visual spatial cognition will be organized primarily according to the following schemes: bottom-up / top-down processing, dorsal / ventral stream processing, and egocentric / allocentric frames of reference. PMID:20526954

  18. Endocytic membrane trafficking and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Schreij, Andrea M A; Fon, Edward A; McPherson, Peter S

    2016-04-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are amongst the most devastating of human disorders. New technologies have led to a rapid increase in the identification of disease-related genes with an enhanced appreciation of the key roles played by genetics in the etiology of these disorders. Importantly, pinpointing the normal function of disease gene proteins leads to new understanding of the cellular machineries and pathways that are altered in the disease process. One such emerging pathway is membrane trafficking in the endosomal system. This key cellular process controls the localization and levels of a myriad of proteins and is thus critical for normal cell function. In this review we will focus on three neurodegenerative diseases; Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and hereditary spastic paraplegias, for which a large number of newly discovered disease genes encode proteins that function in endosomal membrane trafficking. We will describe how alterations in these proteins affect endosomal function and speculate on the contributions of these disruptions to disease pathophysiology. PMID:26721251

  19. Dendritic Spine Pathology in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Herms, Jochen; Dorostkar, Mario M

    2016-05-23

    Substantial progress has been made toward understanding the neuropathology, genetic origins, and epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease; tauopathies, such as frontotemporal dementia; α-synucleinopathies, such as Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies; Huntington's disease; and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with dementia, as well as prion diseases. Recent evidence has implicated dendritic spine dysfunction as an important substrate of the pathogenesis of dementia in these disorders. Dendritic spines are specialized structures, extending from the neuronal processes, on which excitatory synaptic contacts are formed, and the loss of dendritic spines correlates with the loss of synaptic function. We review the literature that has implicated direct or indirect structural alterations at dendritic spines in the pathogenesis of major neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on those that lead to dementias such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases, as well as frontotemporal dementia and prion diseases. We stress the importance of in vivo studies in animal models. PMID:26907528

  20. Modulating Human Aging and Age-Associated Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fontana, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    Population aging is progressing rapidly in many industrialized countries. The United States population aged 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years. In sedentary people eating Western diets aging is associated with the development of serious chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. About 80 percent of adults over 65 years of age have at least one chronic disease, and 50 percent have at least two chronic diseases. These chronic diseases are the most important cause of illness and mortality burden, and they have become the leading driver of healthcare costs, constituting an important burden for our society. Data from epidemiological studies and clinical trials indicate that many age-associated chronic diseases can be prevented, and even reversed, with the implementation of healthy lifestyle interventions. Several recent studies suggest that more drastic interventions (i.e. calorie restriction without malnutrition and moderate protein restriction with adequate nutrition) may have additional beneficial effects on several metabolic and hormonal factors that are implicated in the biology of aging itself. Additional studies are needed to understand the complex interactions of factors that regulate aging and age-associated chronic disease. PMID:19364477

  1. Dysregulation of Glutathione Homeostasis in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, William M.; Wilson-Delfosse, Amy L.; Mieyal, John. J.

    2012-01-01

    Dysregulation of glutathione homeostasis and alterations in glutathione-dependent enzyme activities are increasingly implicated in the induction and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Friedreich’s ataxia. In this review background is provided on the steady-state synthesis, regulation, and transport of glutathione, with primary focus on the brain. A brief overview is presented on the distinct but vital roles of glutathione in cellular maintenance and survival, and on the functions of key glutathione-dependent enzymes. Major contributors to initiation and progression of neurodegenerative diseases are considered, including oxidative stress, protein misfolding, and protein aggregation. In each case examples of key regulatory mechanisms are identified that are sensitive to changes in glutathione redox status and/or in the activities of glutathione-dependent enzymes. Mechanisms of dysregulation of glutathione and/or glutathione-dependent enzymes are discussed that are implicated in pathogenesis of each neurodegenerative disease. Limitations in information or interpretation are identified, and possible avenues for further research are described with an aim to elucidating novel targets for therapeutic interventions. The pros and cons of administration of N-acetylcysteine or glutathione as therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases, as well as the potential utility of serum glutathione as a biomarker, are critically evaluated. PMID:23201762

  2. Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases (Review).

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Wei; Zhang, Xia; Huang, Wen-Juan

    2016-04-01

    Neurodegeneration is a phenomenon that occurs in the central nervous system through the hallmarks associating the loss of neuronal structure and function. Neurodegeneration is observed after viral insult and mostly in various so-called 'neurodegenerative diseases', generally observed in the elderly, such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that negatively affect mental and physical functioning. Causative agents of neurodegeneration have yet to be identified. However, recent data have identified the inflammatory process as being closely linked with multiple neurodegenerative pathways, which are associated with depression, a consequence of neurodegenerative disease. Accordingly, pro‑inflammatory cytokines are important in the pathophysiology of depression and dementia. These data suggest that the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration must be fully elucidated, since pro‑inflammatory agents, which are the causative effects of neuroinflammation, occur widely, particularly in the elderly in whom inflammatory mechanisms are linked to the pathogenesis of functional and mental impairments. In this review, we investigated the role played by the inflammatory process in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26935478

  3. Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases (Review)

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, WEI-WEI; ZHANG, XIA; HUANG, WEN-JUAN

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is a phenomenon that occurs in the central nervous system through the hallmarks associating the loss of neuronal structure and function. Neurodegeneration is observed after viral insult and mostly in various so-called 'neurodegenerative diseases', generally observed in the elderly, such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that negatively affect mental and physical functioning. Causative agents of neurodegeneration have yet to be identified. However, recent data have identified the inflammatory process as being closely linked with multiple neurodegenerative pathways, which are associated with depression, a consequence of neurodegenerative disease. Accordingly, pro-inflammatory cytokines are important in the pathophysiology of depression and dementia. These data suggest that the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration must be fully elucidated, since pro-inflammatory agents, which are the causative effects of neuroinflammation, occur widely, particularly in the elderly in whom inflammatory mechanisms are linked to the pathogenesis of functional and mental impairments. In this review, we investigated the role played by the inflammatory process in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26935478

  4. Epigenetic regulation in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gapp, K; Woldemichael, B T; Bohacek, J; Mansuy, I M

    2014-04-01

    From fertilization throughout development and until death, cellular programs in individual cells are dynamically regulated to fulfill multiple functions ranging from cell lineage specification to adaptation to internal and external stimuli. Such regulation is of major importance in brain cells, because the brain continues to develop long after birth and incorporates information from the environment across life. When compromised, these regulatory mechanisms can have detrimental consequences on neurodevelopment and lead to severe brain pathologies and neurodegenerative diseases in the adult individual. Elucidating these processes is essential to better understand their implication in disease etiology. Because they are strongly influenced by environmental factors, they have been postulated to depend on epigenetic mechanisms. This review describes recent studies that have identified epigenetic dysfunctions in the pathophysiology of several neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. It discusses currently known pathways and molecular targets implicated in pathologies including imprinting disorders, Rett syndrome, and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Hungtinton's disease, and their relevance to these diseases. PMID:23256926

  5. Resveratrol: A Focus on Several Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana

    2015-01-01

    Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587

  6. Resveratrol: A Focus on Several Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana

    2015-01-01

    Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587

  7. Implications of glial nitric oxide in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yuste, Jose Enrique; Tarragon, Ernesto; Campuzano, Carmen María; Ros-Bernal, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a pleiotropic janus-faced molecule synthesized by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) which plays a critical role in a number of physiological and pathological processes in humans. The physiological roles of NO depend on its local concentrations, as well as its availability and the nature of downstream target molecules. Its double-edged sword action has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders. Excessive NO production, as the evoked by inflammatory signals, has been identified as one of the major causative reasons for the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, excessive NO synthesis under neuroinflammation leads to the formation of reactive nitrogen species and neuronal cell death. There is an intimate relation between microglial activation, NO and neuroinflammation in the human brain. The role of NO in neuroinflammation has been defined in animal models where this neurotransmitter can modulate the inflammatory process acting on key regulatory pathways, such as those associated with excitotoxicity processes induced by glutamate accumulation and microglial activation. Activated glia express inducible NOS and produce NO that triggers calcium mobilization from the endoplasmic reticulum, activating the release of vesicular glutamate from astroglial cells resulting in neuronal death. This change in microglia potentially contributes to the increased age-associated susceptibility and neurodegeneration. In the current review, information is provided about the role of NO, glial activation and age-related processes in the central nervous system (CNS) that may be helpful in the isolation of new therapeutic targets for aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26347610

  8. The kynurenine pathway and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Maddison, Daniel C; Giorgini, Flaviano

    2015-04-01

    Neuroactive metabolites of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation have been closely linked to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid required for protein synthesis, and in higher eukaryotes is also converted into the key neurotransmitters serotonin and tryptamine. However, in mammals >95% of tryptophan is metabolized through the KP, ultimately leading to the production of nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD(+)). A number of the pathway metabolites are neuroactive; e.g. can modulate activity of several glutamate receptors and generate/scavenge free radicals. Imbalances in absolute and relative levels of KP metabolites have been strongly associated with neurodegenerative disorders including Huntington's, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. The KP has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of other brain disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), as well as several cancers and autoimmune disorders such as HIV. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of the KP has been shown to ameliorate neurodegenerative phenotypes in a number of model organisms, suggesting that it could prove to be a viable target for the treatment of such diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the KP, its role in neurodegeneration and the current strategies for therapeutic targeting of the pathway. PMID:25773161

  9. Nitric Oxide Homeostasis in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Hannibal, Luciana

    2016-01-01

    The role of nitric oxide in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases has become prominent over the years. Increased activity of the enzymes that produce reactive oxygen species, decreased activity of antioxidant enzymes and imbalances in glutathione pools mediate and mark the neurodegenerative process. Much of the oxidative damage of proteins is brought about by the overproduction of nitric oxide by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) and its subsequent reactivity with reactive oxygen species. Proteomic methods have advanced the field tremendously, by facilitating the quantitative assessment of differential expression patterns and oxidative modifications of proteins and alongside, mapping their non-canonical functions. As a signaling molecule involved in multiple biochemical pathways, the level of nitric oxide is subject to tight regulation. All three NOS isoforms display aberrant patterns of expression in Alzheimer's disease, altering intracellular signaling and routing oxidative stress in directions that are uncompounded. This review discusses the prime factors that control nitric oxide biosynthesis, reactivity footprints and ensuing effects in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26391043

  10. Biology of Mitochondria in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal degeneration in these familial diseases, and in the more common idiopathic (sporadic) diseases, are unresolved. Genetic, biochemical, and morphological analyses of human AD, PD, and ALS, as well as their cell and animal models, reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The varied functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and the overlying genetic variations. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial programmed cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This chapter reviews several aspects of mitochondrial biology and how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in AD, PD, and ALS. PMID:22482456

  11. Why neurodegenerative diseases are progressive: uncontrolled inflammation drives disease progression

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Hui-Ming; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of chronic, progressive disorders characterized by the gradual loss of neurons in discrete areas of the central nervous system (CNS). The mechanism(s) underlying their progressive nature remains unknown but a timely and well-controlled inflammatory reaction is essential for the integrity and proper function of the CNS. Substantial evidence has documented a common inflammatory mechanism in various neurodegenerative diseases. We hypothesize that in the diseased CNS, interactions between damaged neurons and dysregulated, overactivated microglia create a vicious self-propagating cycle causing uncontrolled, prolonged inflammation that drives the chronic progression of neurodegenerative diseases. We further propose that dynamic modulation of this inflammatory reaction by interrupting the vicious cycle might become a disease-modifying therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18599350

  12. [The role of thiamine in neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Bubko, Irena; Gruber, Beata M; Anuszewska, Elżbieta L

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays an important role in metabolism. It is indispensable for normal growth and development of the organism. Thiamine has a favourable impact on a number of systems, including the digestive, cardiovascular and nervous systems. It also stimulates the brain and improves the psycho-emotional state. Hence it is often called the vitamin of "reassurance of the spirit". Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. It can be present in the free form as thiamine or as its phosphate esters: mono-, di- or triphosphate. The main source of thiamine as an exogenous vitamin is certain foodstuffs, but trace amounts can be synthesised by microorganisms of the large intestine. The recommended daily intake of thiamine is about 2.0 mg. Since vitamin B1 has no ability to accumulate in the organism, manifestations of its deficiency begin to appear very quickly. The chronic state of thiamine deficiency, to a large extent, because of its function, contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. It was proved that supporting vitamin B1 therapy not only constitutes neuroprotection but can also have a favourable impact on advanced neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge as regards the effects of thiamine exerted through this vitamin in a number of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Wernicke's encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and Huntington's disease. PMID:26400895

  13. Therapeutic potential of berberine against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Jiang, WenXiao; Li, ShiHua; Li, XiaoJiang

    2015-06-01

    Berberine (BBR) is an organic small molecule isolated from various plants that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Isolation of this compound was its induction into modern medicine, and its usefulness became quickly apparent as seen in its ability to combat bacterial diarrhea, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, inflammation, heart diseases, and more. However, BBR's effects on neurodegenerative diseases remained relatively unexplored until its ability to stunt Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression was characterized. In this review, we will delve into the multi-faceted defensive capabilities and bio-molecular pathways of BBR against AD, Parkinson's disease (PD), and trauma-induced neurodegeneration. The multiple effects of BBR, some of which enhance neuro-protective factors/pathways and others counteract targets that induce neurodegeneration, suggest that there are many more branches to the diverse capabilities of BBR that have yet to be uncovered. The promising results seen provide a convincing and substantial basis to support further scientific exploration and development of the therapeutic potential of BBR against neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25749423

  14. Antioxidant Supplementation in the Treatment of Aging-Associated Diseases.

    PubMed

    Conti, Valeria; Izzo, Viviana; Corbi, Graziamaria; Russomanno, Giusy; Manzo, Valentina; De Lise, Federica; Di Donato, Alberto; Filippelli, Amelia

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress is generally considered as the consequence of an imbalance between pro- and antioxidants species, which often results into indiscriminate and global damage at the organismal level. Elderly people are more susceptible to oxidative stress and this depends, almost in part, from a decreased performance of their endogenous antioxidant system. As many studies reported an inverse correlation between systemic levels of antioxidants and several diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases, but also diabetes and neurological disorders, antioxidant supplementation has been foreseen as an effective preventive and therapeutic intervention for aging-associated pathologies. However, the expectations of this therapeutic approach have often been partially disappointed by clinical trials. The interplay of both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants with the systemic redox system is very complex and represents an issue that is still under debate. In this review a selection of recent clinical studies concerning antioxidants supplementation and the evaluation of their influence in aging-related diseases is analyzed. The controversial outcomes of antioxidants supplementation therapies, which might partially depend from an underestimation of the patient specific metabolic demand and genetic background, are presented. PMID:26903869

  15. Antioxidant Supplementation in the Treatment of Aging-Associated Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Conti, Valeria; Izzo, Viviana; Corbi, Graziamaria; Russomanno, Giusy; Manzo, Valentina; De Lise, Federica; Di Donato, Alberto; Filippelli, Amelia

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress is generally considered as the consequence of an imbalance between pro- and antioxidants species, which often results into indiscriminate and global damage at the organismal level. Elderly people are more susceptible to oxidative stress and this depends, almost in part, from a decreased performance of their endogenous antioxidant system. As many studies reported an inverse correlation between systemic levels of antioxidants and several diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases, but also diabetes and neurological disorders, antioxidant supplementation has been foreseen as an effective preventive and therapeutic intervention for aging-associated pathologies. However, the expectations of this therapeutic approach have often been partially disappointed by clinical trials. The interplay of both endogenous and exogenous antioxidants with the systemic redox system is very complex and represents an issue that is still under debate. In this review a selection of recent clinical studies concerning antioxidants supplementation and the evaluation of their influence in aging-related diseases is analyzed. The controversial outcomes of antioxidants supplementation therapies, which might partially depend from an underestimation of the patient specific metabolic demand and genetic background, are presented. PMID:26903869

  16. Quantitative interaction proteomics of neurodegenerative disease proteins.

    PubMed

    Hosp, Fabian; Vossfeldt, Hannes; Heinig, Matthias; Vasiljevic, Djordje; Arumughan, Anup; Wyler, Emanuel; Landthaler, Markus; Hubner, Norbert; Wanker, Erich E; Lannfelt, Lars; Ingelsson, Martin; Lalowski, Maciej; Voigt, Aaron; Selbach, Matthias

    2015-05-19

    Several proteins have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs), but their molecular function is not completely understood. Here, we used quantitative interaction proteomics to identify binding partners of Amyloid beta precursor protein (APP) and Presenilin-1 (PSEN1) for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntingtin (HTT) for Huntington's disease, Parkin (PARK2) for Parkinson's disease, and Ataxin-1 (ATXN1) for spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. Our network reveals common signatures of protein degradation and misfolding and recapitulates known biology. Toxicity modifier screens and comparison to genome-wide association studies show that interaction partners are significantly linked to disease phenotypes in vivo. Direct comparison of wild-type proteins and disease-associated variants identified binders involved in pathogenesis, highlighting the value of differential interactome mapping. Finally, we show that the mitochondrial protein LRPPRC interacts preferentially with an early-onset AD variant of APP. This interaction appears to induce mitochondrial dysfunction, which is an early phenotype of AD. PMID:25959826

  17. Systemic Redox Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Pastore, Anna; Petrillo, Sara; Piermarini, Emanuela; Piemonte, Fiorella

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by a gradual and selective loss of neurons. ROS overload has been proved to occur early in this heterogeneous group of disorders, indicating oxidative stress as a primer factor underlying their pathogenesis. Given the importance of a better knowledge of the cause/effect of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis and evolution of neurodegeneration, recent efforts have been focused on the identification and determination of stable markers that may reflect systemic oxidative stress. This review provides an overview of these systemic redox biomarkers and their responsiveness to antioxidant therapies. Redox biomarkers can be classified as molecules that are modified by interactions with ROS in the microenvironment and antioxidant molecules that change in response to increased oxidative stress. DNA, lipids (including phospholipids), proteins and carbohydrates are examples of molecules that can be modified by excessive ROS in vivo. Some modifications have direct effects on molecule functions (e.g. to inhibit enzyme function), but others merely reflect the degree of oxidative stress in the local environment. Testing of redox biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases has 3 important goals: 1) to confirm the presence or absence of systemic oxidative stress; 2) to identify possible underlying (and potentially reversible) causes of neurodegeneration; and 3) to estimate the severity of the disease and the risk of progression. Reflecting pathological processes occurring in the whole body, redox biomarkers may pinpoint novel therapeutic targets and lead to diagnose diseases before they are clinically evident. PMID:26152129

  18. Polyphenols: Multipotent Therapeutic Agents in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bhullar, Khushwant S.; Rupasinghe, H. P. Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Aging leads to numerous transitions in brain physiology including synaptic dysfunction and disturbances in cognition and memory. With a few clinically relevant drugs, a substantial portion of aging population at risk for age-related neurodegenerative disorders require nutritional intervention. Dietary intake of polyphenols is known to attenuate oxidative stress and reduce the risk for related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Polyphenols exhibit strong potential to address the etiology of neurological disorders as they attenuate their complex physiology by modulating several therapeutic targets at once. Firstly, we review the advances in the therapeutic role of polyphenols in cell and animal models of AD, PD, MS, and HD and activation of drug targets for controlling pathological manifestations. Secondly, we present principle pathways in which polyphenol intake translates into therapeutic outcomes. In particular, signaling pathways like PPAR, Nrf2, STAT, HIF, and MAPK along with modulation of immune response by polyphenols are discussed. Although current polyphenol researches have limited impact on clinical practice, they have strong evidence and testable hypothesis to contribute clinical advances and drug discovery towards age-related neurological disorders. PMID:23840922

  19. Overcoming obstacles to repurposing for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Shineman, Diana W; Alam, John; Anderson, Margaret; Black, Sandra E; Carman, Aaron J; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Dacks, Penny A; Dudley, Joel T; Frail, Donald E; Green, Allan; Lane, Rachel F; Lappin, Debra; Simuni, Tanya; Stefanacci, Richard G; Sherer, Todd; Fillit, Howard M

    2014-01-01

    Repurposing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for a new indication may offer an accelerated pathway for new treatments to patients but is also fraught with significant commercial, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) convened an advisory panel in October 2013 to understand stakeholder perspectives related to repurposing FDA-approved drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we present opportunities on how philanthropy, industry, and government can begin to address these challenges, promote policy changes, and develop targeted funding strategies to accelerate the potential of FDA-approved repurposed drugs. PMID:25356422

  20. Overcoming obstacles to repurposing for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Shineman, Diana W; Alam, John; Anderson, Margaret; Black, Sandra E; Carman, Aaron J; Cummings, Jeffrey L; Dacks, Penny A; Dudley, Joel T; Frail, Donald E; Green, Allan; Lane, Rachel F; Lappin, Debra; Simuni, Tanya; Stefanacci, Richard G; Sherer, Todd; Fillit, Howard M

    2014-07-01

    Repurposing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for a new indication may offer an accelerated pathway for new treatments to patients but is also fraught with significant commercial, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges. The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) convened an advisory panel in October 2013 to understand stakeholder perspectives related to repurposing FDA-approved drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we present opportunities on how philanthropy, industry, and government can begin to address these challenges, promote policy changes, and develop targeted funding strategies to accelerate the potential of FDA-approved repurposed drugs. PMID:25356422

  1. Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases: The Clinical Approach.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Río, Manuel; Caballero, Manuel Moreno; Górriz Sáez, Juan Manuel; Mínguez-Castellanos, Adolfo

    2016-01-01

    There are a number of clinical questions for which there are no easy answers, even for well-trained doctors. The diagnostic tool commonly used to assess cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative diseases is based on established clinical criteria. However, the differential diagnosis between disorders can be difficult, especially in early phases or atypical variants. This takes on particular importance when it is still possible to use an appropriate treatment. To solve this problem, physicians need to have access to an arsenal of diagnostic tests, such as neurofunctional imaging, that allow higher specificity in clinical assessment. However, the reliability of diagnostic tests may vary from one to the next, so the diagnostic validity of a given investigation must be estimated by comparing the results obtained from "true" criteria to the "gold standard" or reference test. While pathological analysis is considered to be the gold standard in a wide spectrum of diseases, it cannot be applied to neurological processes. Other approaches could provide solutions, including clinical patient follow-up, creation of a data bank or use of computer-aided diagnostic algorithms. In this article, we discuss the development of different methodological procedures related to analysis of diagnostic validity and present an example from our own experience based on the use of I-123-ioflupane-SPECT in the study of patients with movement disorders. The aim of this chapter is to approach the problem of diagnosis from the point of view of the clinician, taking into account specific aspects of neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26567736

  2. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  3. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  4. Peripheral arterial endothelial dysfunction of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Yusuke; Hishikawa, Nozomi; Shang, Jingwei; Sato, Kota; Nakano, Yumiko; Morihara, Ryuta; Ohta, Yasuyuki; Yamashita, Toru; Abe, Koji

    2016-07-15

    This study evaluates endothelial functions of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). The reactive hyperemia index (RHI) of peripheral arterial tonometry and serological data were compared between age- and gender-matched normal controls (n=302) and five disease groups (ALS; n=75, PD; n=180, PSP; n=30, MSA; n=35, SCA; n=53). Correlation analyses were performed in ALS with functional rating scale-revised (FRS-R), and in PD with the Hehn-Yahr scale (H-Y) and a heart to mediastinum ratio using (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy (MIBG). The RHI of ALS and PD, but not of PSP, MSA or SCA, were significantly lower than normal controls (p<0.01). ALS showed a negative correlation of RHI with serum triglycerides (TG) and immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels, but not with disease severity (FRS-R) or rates of disease progression (∆FRS-R). On the other hand, PD showed a negative correlation of RHI with a progressive disease severity (H-Y) and a positive correlation of RHI with early/delayed MIBG scintigraphy, but not with serological data. The present study demonstrated significant declines of peripheral arterial endothelial functions in ALS and PD. The RHI of ALS was more correlated with disease duration and serum parameters while the RHI of PD was more correlated with disease severity and MIBG, suggesting different mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction. PMID:27288784

  5. A Potential Alternative against Neurodegenerative Diseases: Phytodrugs.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043

  6. A Potential Alternative against Neurodegenerative Diseases: Phytodrugs

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043

  7. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2013-01-01

    The exploration of brain epigenomes, which consist of various types of DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, is providing new and unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of normal neural development, neurological disease and aging. Traditionally, chromatin defects in brain were considered static lesions of early development that occurred in the context of rare genetic syndromes but it is now clear that mutations and maladaptations of the epigenetic machinery cover a much wider continuum, including adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Here, we describe how recent advances in neuroepigenetics have contributed to an improved mechanistic understanding of developmental and degenerative brain disorders, as well as how they could influence the development of future therapies for these conditions. PMID:22869198

  8. Neurodegenerative Diseases: Neurotoxins as Sufficient Etiologic Agents?

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Christopher A.; Höglinger, Günter U.

    2008-01-01

    A dominant paradigm in neurological disease research is that the primary etiological factors for diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are genetic. Opposed to this perspective are the clear observations from epidemiology that purely genetic casual factors account for a relatively small fraction of all cases. Many who support a genetic etiology for neurological disease take the view that while the percentages may be relatively small, these numbers will rise in the future with the inevitable discoveries of additional genetic mutations. The follow up argument is that even if the last is not true, the events triggered by the aberrant genes identified so far will be shown to impact the same neuronal cell death pathways as those activated by environmental factors that trigger most sporadic disease cases. In this article we present a countervailing view that environmental neurotoxins may be the sole sufficient factor in at least three neurological disease clusters. For each, neurotoxins have been isolated and characterized that, at least in animal models, faithfully reproduce each disorder without the need for genetic co-factors. Based on these data, we will propose a set of principles that would enable any potential toxin to be evaluated as an etiological factor in a given neurodegenerative disease. Finally, we will attempt to put environmental toxins into the context of possible genetically-determined susceptibility. PMID:17985252

  9. Role of apolipoprotein E in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Giau, Vo Van; Bagyinszky, Eva; An, Seong Soo A; Kim, Sang Yun

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system. APOE-dependent alterations of the endocytic pathway can affect different functions. APOE binds to cell-surface receptors to deliver lipids and to the hydrophobic amyloid-β peptide, regulating amyloid-β aggregations and clearances in the brain. Several APOE isoforms with major structural differences were discovered and shown to influence the brain lipid transport, glucose metabolism, neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial function. This review will summarize the updated research progress on APOE functions and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Type III hyperlipoproteinemia, vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke. Understanding the mutations in APOE, their structural properties, and their isoforms is important to determine its role in various diseases and to advance the development of therapeutic strategies. Targeting APOE may be a potential approach for diagnosis, risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases in humans. PMID:26213471

  10. The Role of Copper in Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Francis M.

    My research concerns the fundamental atomistic mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and the methodologies by which they may be discerned. This thesis consists of three primary parts. The introductory material is the raison d'etre for this work and a critical overview of the specific physics, mathematics and algorithms used in this research. The methods are presented along with specific details in order to facilitate future replication and enhancement. With the groundwork of mechanisms and methods out of the way, we then explore a nouveau atomistic mechanism describing the onset of Parkinson's disease, a disease that has been closely linked to misfolded metalloproteins. Further exploration of neurodegeneration takes place in the following chapter, where a remedial approach to Alzheimer's disease via a simulated chelation of a metalloprotein is undertaken. Altogether, the methods and techniques applied here allow for simulated exploration of both the atomistic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and their potential remediation strategies. The beginning portion of the research efforts explore protein misfolding dynamics in the presence a copper ion. Misfolding of the human alpha-synuclein (aS) protein has been implicated as a central constituent in neurodegenerative disease. In Parkinson's disease (PD) in particular, aS is thought to be the causative participant when found concentrated into neuritic plaques. Here we propose a scenario involving the metal ion Cu2+ as the protein misfolding initiator of fibrillized aS, the chief component of neuritic plaques. From experimental results we know these misfolded proteins have a rich beta--sheet signature, a marker that we reproduce with our simulated model. This model identifies a process of structural modifications to a natively unfolded alpha-synuclein resulting in a partially folded intermediate with a well defined nucleation site. It serves as a precursor to the fully misfolded protein. Understanding the nucleation

  11. Neurodegenerative disease. Genetic discrimination in Huntington disease.

    PubMed

    Pulst, Stefan M

    2009-10-01

    A survey conducted in Canada examined the prevalence of perceived genetic discrimination against patients with Huntington disease. The respondents reported discrimination not only by insurance or mortgage companies, but also in family and social contexts. Discrimination was more frequently attributed to family history than to genetic test results. PMID:19794509

  12. PATHOLOGIES OF AXONAL TRANSPORT IN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin-An; Rizzo, Valerio; Puthanveettil, Sathyanarayanan V.

    2013-01-01

    Gene products such as organelles, proteins and RNAs are actively transported to synaptic terminals for the remodeling of pre-existing neuronal connections and formation of new ones. Proteins described as molecular motors mediate this transport and utilize specialized cytoskeletal proteins that function as molecular tracks for the motor based transport of cargos. Molecular motors such as kinesins and dynein's move along microtubule tracks formed by tubulins whereas myosin motors utilize tracks formed by actin. Deficits in active transport of gene products have been implicated in a number of neurological disorders. We describe such disorders collectively as “transportopathies”. Here we review current knowledge of critical components of active transport and their relevance to neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23750323

  13. The Role of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Geon Ha; Kim, Jieun E.; Rhie, Sandy Jeong

    2015-01-01

    Oxidative stress is induced by an imbalanced redox states, involving either excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or dysfunction of the antioxidant system. The brain is one of organs especially vulnerable to the effects of ROS because of its high oxygen demand and its abundance of peroxidation-susceptible lipid cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress plays a central role in a common pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Antioxidant therapy has been suggested for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, although the results with regard to their efficacy of treating neurodegenerative disease have been inconsistent. In this review, we will discuss the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and in vivo measurement of an index of damage by oxidative stress. Moreover, the present knowledge on antioxidant in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and future directions will be outlined. PMID:26713080

  14. Mutational Analysis of TARDBP in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ticozzi, Nicola; LeClerc, Ashley Lyn; Van-Blitterswijk, Marka; Keagle, Pamela; McKenna-Yasek, Diane M.; Sapp, Peter C.; Silani, Vincenzo; Wills, Anne-Marie; Brown, Robert H.; Landers, John E.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are often characterized by the presence of aggregates of misfolded proteins. TDP-43 is a major component of these aggregates in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but has also been observed in Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's Diseases (PD). In addition, mutations in the TARDBP gene, encoding TDP-43, have been found to be a significant cause of familial ALS (FALS). All mutations, except for one, have been found in exon 6. To confirm this observation in ALS and to investigate whether TARDBP may play a role in the pathogenesis of AD and PD, we screened for mutations in exon 6 of the TARDBP gene in three cohorts composed of 376 AD, 463 PD (18% familial PD) and 376 ALS patients (50% FALS). We found mutations in ∼7% of FALS and ∼0.5% of sporadic ALS (SALS) patients, including two novel mutations, p.N352T and p.G384R. In contrast, we did not find TARDBP mutations in our cohort of AD and PD patients. These results suggest that mutations in TARDBP are not a significant cause of AD and PD. PMID:20031275

  15. Age-Associated Chronic Diseases Require Age-Old Medicine: Role of Chronic Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Sahdeo; Sung, Bokyung; Aggarwal, Bharat B.

    2012-01-01

    Most chronic diseases - such as cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, arthritis, diabetes and obesity - are becoming leading causes of disability and death all over the world. Some of the most common causes of these age-associated chronic diseases are lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. All the risk factors linked to these chronic diseases have been shown to up-regulate inflammation. Therefore, downregulation of inflammation-associated risk factors could prevent or delay these age-associated diseases. Although modern science has developed several drugs for treating chronic diseases, most of these drugs are enormously expensive and are associated with serious side effects and morbidity. In this review, we present evidence on how chronic inflammation leads to age-associated chronic disease. Furthermore, we discuss diet and lifestyle as solutions for age-associated chronic disease. PMID:22178471

  16. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies. PMID:26784972

  17. A network approach to clinical intervention in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Jose A; Potashkin, Judith A

    2014-12-01

    Network biology has become a powerful tool to dissect the molecular mechanisms triggering neurodegeneration. Recent developments in network biology have led to the discovery of disease-causing genes, diagnostic biomarkers, and therapeutic targets for several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Network-based approaches have provided the molecular rationale for the relationship among cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases, and have uncovered unexpected links between apparently unrelated diseases. Here, we summarize the recent advances in network biology to untangle the molecular underpinnings giving rise to the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. We propose that network analysis provides a feasible and practical tool for identifying biologically meaningful biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for clinical intervention in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25455073

  18. Spectrin Breakdown Products (SBDPs) as Potential Biomarkers for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xiao-Xin; Jeromin, Andreas; Jeromin, A.

    2013-01-01

    The world’s human population ages rapidly thanks to the great advance in modern medicine. While more and more body system diseases become treatable and curable, age-related neurodegenerative diseases remain poorly understood mechanistically, and are desperately in need of preventive and therapeutic interventions. Biomarker development consists of a key part of concerted effort in combating neurodegenerative diseases. In many chronic neurodegenerative conditions, neuronal damage/death occurs long before the onset of disease symptoms, and abnormal proteolysis may either play an active role or be a companying event of neuronal injury. Increased spectrin cleavage yielding elevated spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs) by calcium-sensitive proteases such as calpain and caspases has been established in conditions associated with acute neuronal damage such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here we review literature regarding spectrin expression and metabolism in the brain, and propose a potential use of SBDPs as biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases. PMID:23710421

  19. Role of the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Hiromi; Tanji, Kunikazu; Wakabayashi, Koichi; Matsuura, Shin; Itoh, Ken

    2015-05-01

    As the elderly population increases, a growing number of individuals suffer from age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Oxidative stress is considered to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases. The transcription factor Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) is activated by oxidative stress and regulates the expression of a variety of antioxidant enzymes and proteins that exert cytoprotective effects against oxidative stress. Numerous studies have addressed the role of Nrf2 in age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, using animal or in vitro cell culture models. Here, we introduce the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and critically examine the recent findings concerning the role for Nrf2 in the amelioration of AD and PD. Nrf2 not only regulates antioxidant proteins but also regulates the genes associated with autophagy and nerve growth factor signaling. Current research unequivocally demonstrates that the activation of the Nrf2 pathway is a promising novel strategy for the prevention and modification of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25707882

  20. Roles of peroxiredoxins in cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Park, Mi Hee; Jo, MiRan; Kim, Yu Ri; Lee, Chong-Kil; Hong, Jin Tae

    2016-07-01

    Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are antioxidant enzymes, known to catalyze peroxide reduction to balance cellular hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels, which are essential for cell signaling and metabolism and act as a regulator of redox signaling. Redox signaling is a critical component of cell signaling pathways that are involved in the regulation of cell growth, metabolism, hormone signaling, immune regulation and variety of other physiological functions. Early studies demonstrated that PRDXs regulates cell growth, metabolism and immune regulation and therefore involved in the pathologic regulator or protectant of several cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases. Oxidative stress and antioxidant systems are important regulators of redox signaling regulated diseases. In addition, thiol-based redox systems through peroxiredoxins have been demonstrated to regulate several redox-dependent process related diseases. In this review article, we will discuss recent findings regarding PRDXs in the development of diseases and further discuss therapeutic approaches targeting PRDXs. Moreover, we will suggest that PRDXs could be targets of several diseases and the therapeutic agents for targeting PRDXs may have potential beneficial effects for the treatment of cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases. Future research should open new avenues for the design of novel therapeutic approaches targeting PRDXs. PMID:27130805

  1. Nutritional Interventions in Aging and Age-Associated Diseases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dietary interventions have proven to be the most robust and consistent means of ameliorating the diseases and dysfunctions of aging. A large literature includes both quantitative (caloric restriction [CR]) and qualitative (micronutrients, antioxidants, etc.) alterations of nutrient and caloric inta...

  2. Evaluation of Traditional Medicines for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Drosophila Models

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soojin; Bang, Se Min; Lee, Joon Woo; Cho, Kyoung Sang

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila is one of the oldest and most powerful genetic models and has led to novel insights into a variety of biological processes. Recently, Drosophila has emerged as a model system to study human diseases, including several important neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the genomic similarity between Drosophila and humans, Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models exhibit a variety of human-disease-like phenotypes, facilitating fast and cost-effective in vivo genetic modifier screening and drug evaluation. Using these models, many disease-associated genetic factors have been identified, leading to the identification of compelling drug candidates. Recently, the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines for human diseases have been evaluated in various animal disease models. Despite the advantages of the Drosophila model, its usage in the evaluation of traditional medicines is only nascent. Here, we introduce the Drosophila model for neurodegenerative diseases and some examples demonstrating the successful application of Drosophila models in the evaluation of traditional medicines. PMID:24790636

  3. Immunotherapy for neurodegenerative diseases: focus on α-synucleinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Valera, Elvira; Masliah, Eliezer

    2013-01-01

    Immunotherapy is currently being intensively explored as much-needed disease-modifying treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. While Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been the focus of numerous immunotherapeutic studies, less attention has been paid to Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The reason for this difference is that the amyloid beta (Aβ) protein in AD is a secreted molecule that circulates in blood and is readably recognized by antibodies. In contrast, α-synuclein (α-syn), tau, huntingtin and other proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases have been considered to be exclusively of intracellular nature. However, the recent discovery that toxic oligomeric versions of α-syn and tau accumulate in the membrane and can be excreted to the extracellular environment has provided a rationale for the development of immunotherapeutic approaches for PD, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, and other neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the abnormal accumulation of these proteins. Active immunization, passive immunization, and T cell-mediated cellular immunotherapeutic approaches have been developed targeting Aβ, α-syn and tau. Most advanced studies, including results from phase III clinical trials for passive immunization in AD, have been recently reported. Results suggest that immunotherapy might be a promising therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases that progress with the accumulation and propagation of toxic protein aggregates. In this manuscript we provide an overview on immunotherapeutic advances for neurodegenerative disorders, with special emphasis on α-synucleinopathies. PMID:23384597

  4. Glial cell inclusions and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Miller, David W.; Cookson, Mark R.; Dickson, Dennis W.

    2006-01-01

    In this review, we discuss examples that show how glial-cell pathology is increasingly recognized in several neurodegenerative diseases. We also discuss the more provocative idea that some of the disorders that are currently considered to be neurodegenerative diseases might, in fact, be due to primary abnormalities in glia. Although the mechanism of glial pathology (i.e. modulating glutamate excitotoxicity) might be better established for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a role for neuronal–glial interactions in the pathogenesis of most neurodegenerative diseases is plausible. This burgeoning area of neuroscience will receive much attention in the future and it is expected that further understanding of basic neuronal–glial interactions will have a significant impact on the understanding of the fundamental nature of human neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:16614753

  5. The Role of Environmental Exposures in Neurodegeneration and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Jason R.; Greenamyre, J. Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegeneration describes the loss of neuronal structure and function. Numerous neurodegenerative diseases are associated with neurodegeneration. Many are rare and stem from purely genetic causes. However, the prevalence of major neurodegenerative diseases is increasing with improvements in treating major diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases, resulting in an aging population. The neurological consequences of neurodegeneration in patients can have devastating effects on mental and physical functioning. The causes of most cases of prevalent neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. The role of neurotoxicant exposures in neurodegenerative disease has long been suspected, with much effort devoted to identifying causative agents. However, causative factors for a significant number of cases have yet to be identified. In this review, the role of environmental neurotoxicant exposures on neurodegeneration in selected major neurodegenerative diseases is discussed. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were chosen because of available data on environmental influences. The special sensitivity the nervous system exhibits to toxicant exposure and unifying mechanisms of neurodegeneration are explored. PMID:21914720

  6. Genetic variants associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer disease in natural models.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Claudia; Valdivia, Gonzalo; Ardiles, Álvaro O; Ewer, John; Palacios, Adrián G

    2016-01-01

    The use of transgenic models for the study of neurodegenerative diseases has made valuable contributions to the field. However, some important limitations, including protein overexpression and general systemic compensation for the missing genes, has caused researchers to seek natural models that show the main biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases during aging. Here we review some of these models-most of them rodents, focusing especially on the genetic variations in biomarkers for Alzheimer diseases, in order to explain their relationships with variants associated with the occurrence of the disease in humans. PMID:26919851

  7. Redox Imbalance and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Limongi, Dolores; Baldelli, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325

  8. Redox Imbalance and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325

  9. Developmental neuroplasticity and the origin of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Schaefers, Andrea T U; Teuchert-Noodt, Gertraud

    2013-05-24

    Objectives. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease, marked by characteristic protein aggregations, are more and more accepted to be synaptic disorders and to arise from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In this review we propose our concept that neuroplasticity might constitute a link between early life challenges and neurodegeneration. Methods. After introducing the general principles of neuroplasticity, we show how adverse environmental stimuli during development impact adult neuroplasticity and might lead to neurodegenerative processes. Results. There are significant overlaps between neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative processes. Proteins that represent hallmarks of neurodegeneration are involved in plastic processes under physiological conditions. Brain regions - particularly the hippocampus - that retain life-long plastic capacities are the key targets of neurodegeneration. Neuroplasticity is highest in young age making the brain more susceptible to external influences than later in life. Impacts during critical periods have life-long consequences on neuroplasticity and structural self-organization and are known to be common risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Conclusions. Several lines of evidence support a link between developmental neuroplasticity and neurodegenerative processes later in life. A deeper insight into these processes is necessary to design strategies to mitigate or even prevent neurodegenerative pathologies. PMID:23705632

  10. Unbiased approaches to biomarker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia have several important features in common. They are progressive, they affect a relatively inaccessible organ, and we have no disease-modifying therapies for them. For these brain-based diseases, current diagnosis and evaluation of disease severity rely almost entirely on clinical examination, which may only be a rough approximation of disease state. Thus, the development of biomarkers – objective, relatively easily measured and precise indicators of pathogenic processes – could improve patient care and accelerate therapeutic discovery. Yet existing, rigorously tested neurodegenerative disease biomarkers are few, and even fewer biomarkers have translated into clinical use. To find new biomarkers for these diseases, an unbiased, high-throughput screening approach may be needed. In this review, I will describe the potential utility of such an approach to biomarker discovery, using Parkinson’s disease as a case example. PMID:25442938

  11. Oxidative stress treatment for clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ienco, Elena Caldarazzo; LoGerfo, Annalisa; Carlesi, Cecilia; Orsucci, Daniele; Ricci, Giulia; Mancuso, Michelangelo; Siciliano, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a metabolic condition arising from imbalance between the production of potentially reactive oxygen species and the scavenging activities. Mitochondria are the main providers but also the main scavengers of cell oxidative stress. The role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is well documented. Therefore, therapeutic approaches targeting mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage hold great promise in neurodegenerative diseases. Despite this evidence, human experience with antioxidant neuroprotectants has generally been negative with regards to the clinical progress of disease, with unclear results in biochemical assays. Here we review the antioxidant approaches performed so far in neurodegenerative diseases and the future challenges in modern medicine. PMID:21422516

  12. The Blood Brain Barrier in Neurodegenerative Disease: A Rhetorical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Carvey, Paul M; Hendey, Bill; Monahan, Angela J.

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that the function of the blood brain barrier (BBB) is not static under normal physiological conditions and is likely altered in neurodegenerative disease. Prevailing thinking about CNS function, and neurodegenerative disease in particular, is neurocentric excluding the impact of factors outside of the CNS. This review challenges this perspective and discusses recent reports suggesting the involvement of peripheral factors including toxins and elements of adaptive immunity that may not only play a role in pathogenesis, but also progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Central to this view is neuroinflammation. Several studies indicate that the neuroinflammatory changes that accompany neurodegeneration affect the BBB or its function by altering transport systems, enhancing immune cell entry, or influencing the BBB’s role as a signaling interface. Such changes impair the BBB’s normal homeostatic function and affect neural activity. Moreover, recent studies reveal that alterations in BBB and its transporters affect the entry of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Incorporating BBB compromise and dysfunction into our view of neurodegenerative disease leads to inclusion of peripheral mediators in its pathogenesis and progression. In addition, this changing view of the BBB raises interesting new therapeutic possibilities for drug delivery as well as treatment strategies designed to reinstate normal barrier function. PMID:19659460

  13. Molecular Chaperone Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Effects of Curcumin

    PubMed Central

    Frautschy, Sally

    2014-01-01

    The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell. PMID:25386560

  14. Melatonin for Sleep Disorders in Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Trotti, Lynn Marie; Karroum, Elias G

    2016-07-01

    In patients with neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders are common; they impair the quality of life for patients and caregivers and are associated with poorer clinical outcomes. Melatonin has circadian, hypnotic, and free radical-scavenging effects, and preclinical data suggest benefits of melatonin on neurodegeneration. However, randomized, controlled trials of melatonin in patients with neurodegenerative diseases have not shown strong effects. Trials in Alzheimer's patients demonstrate a lack of benefit on sleep quantity. Subjective measures of sleep quality are mixed, with possible symptomatic improvements seen only on some measures or at some time points. Benefits on cognition have not been observed across several studies. In Parkinson's patients, there may be minimal benefit on objective sleep measures, but a suggestion of subjective benefit in few, small studies. Effective treatments for the sleep disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases are urgently needed, but current data are insufficient to establish melatonin as such a treatment. PMID:27180068

  15. Oligodendroglia and Myelin in Neurodegenerative Diseases: More Than Just Bystanders?

    PubMed

    Ettle, Benjamin; Schlachetzki, Johannes C M; Winkler, Jürgen

    2016-07-01

    Oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells of the central nervous system, mediate rapid action potential conduction and provide trophic support for axonal as well as neuronal maintenance. Their progenitor cell population is widely distributed in the adult brain and represents a permanent cellular reservoir for oligodendrocyte replacement and myelin plasticity. The recognition of oligodendrocytes, their progeny, and myelin as contributing factors for the pathogenesis and the progression of neurodegenerative disease has recently evolved shaping our understanding of these disorders. In the present review, we aim to highlight studies on oligodendrocytes and their progenitors in neurodegenerative diseases. We dissect oligodendroglial biology and illustrate evolutionary aspects in regard to their importance for neuronal functionality and maintenance of neuronal circuitries. After covering recent studies on oligodendroglia in different neurodegenerative diseases mainly in view of their function as myelinating cells, we focus on the alpha-synucleinopathy multiple system atrophy, a prototypical disorder with a well-defined oligodendroglial pathology. PMID:25966971

  16. Traumatic brain injury: a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Rajaneesh; Sen, Nilkantha

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major global health and socioeconomic problem, is now established as a chronic disease process with a broad spectrum of pathophysiological symptoms followed by long-term disabilities. It triggers multiple and multidirectional biochemical events that lead to neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment. Recent studies have presented strong evidence that patients with TBI history have a tendency to develop proteinopathy, which is the pathophysiological feature of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This review mainly focuses on mechanisms related to AD, CTE, and ALS that are induced after TBI and their relevance to the advancement of these neurodegenerative diseases. This review encompasses acute effects and chronic neurodegenerative consequences after TBI for a better understanding of TBI-induced neuronal death and to design therapies that will effectively treat patients in the primary or secondary progressive stages. PMID:26352199

  17. RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tang, Anna Y

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions of RNA processing and mutations of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. To elucidate the function of RNA processing and RBPs mutations in neuronal cells and to increase our understanding on the pathogenic mechanisms of neurodegeneration, I have reviewed recent advances on RNA processing-associated molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including RBPs-mediated dysfunction of RNA processing, dysfunctional microRNA (miRNA)-based regulation of gene expression, and oxidative RNA modification. I have focused on neurodegeneration induced by RBPs mutations, by dysfunction of miRNA regulation, and by the oxidized RNAs within neurons, and discuss how these dysfunctions have pathologically contributed to neurodegenerative diseases. The advances overviewed above will be valuable to basic investigation and clinical application of target diagnostic tests and therapies. PMID:26634851

  18. From cellular senescence to age-associated diseases: the miRNA connection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Cellular senescence has evolved from an in-vitro model system to study aging in vitro to a multifaceted phenomenon of in-vivo importance as senescent cells in vivo have been identified and their removal delays the onset of age-associated diseases in a mouse model system. From the large emerging class of non-coding RNAs, miRNAs have only recently been functionally implied in the regulatory networks that are modified during the aging process. Here we summarize examples of similarities between the differential expression of miRNAs during senescence and age-associated diseases and suggest that these similarities might emphasize the importance of senescence for the pathogenesis of age-associated diseases. Understanding such a connection on the level of miRNAs might offer valuable opportunities for designing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. PMID:24472232

  19. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Subash, Selvaraju; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Al-Adawi, Samir; Memon, Mushtaq A.; Manivasagam, Thamilarasan; Akbar, Mohammed

    2014-01-01

    Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. The berry fruits are also capable of modulating signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cell survival, neurotransmission and enhancing neuroplasticity. The neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases are related to phytochemicals such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin. In this review, we made an attempt to clearly describe the beneficial effects of various types of berries as promising neuroprotective agents. PMID:25317174

  20. Pharmacotherapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Are We Approaching the Tipping Point?

    PubMed

    Honig, P K

    2015-11-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases continue to represent major unmet medical and public health needs and will increasingly strain the healthcare system as people live longer due to medical advances in other diseases. Hopefully the emergence of increased understanding of the biology of these conditions coupled with novel clinical pharmacology tools, clinical trial designs, and regulatory innovation will allow the emergence of highly effective symptomatic and disease modifying pharmacotherapies. PMID:26478996

  1. Sign Language Aphasia from a Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Falchook, Adam D.; Mayberry, Rachel I.; Poizner, Howard; Burtis, David Brandon; Doty, Leilani; Heilman, Kenneth M.

    2012-01-01

    While Alois Alzheimer recognized the effects of the disease he described on speech and language in his original description of the disease in 1907, the effects of Alzheimer disease on language in deaf signers has not previously been reported. We evaluated a 55 year old right handed congenitally deaf woman with a two year history of progressive memory loss and a deterioration of her ability to communicate in American Sign Language, which she learned at the age of eight. Examination revealed that she had impaired episodic memory as well as marked impairments in the production and comprehension of fingerspelling and grammatically complex sentences. She also had signs of anomia as well as an ideomotor apraxia and visual-spatial dysfunction. This report illustrates the challenges in evaluation of a patient for the presence of degenerative dementia when the person is deaf from birth, uses sign language, and has a late age of primary language acquisition. Although our patient could neither speak nor hear, in many respects her cognitive disorders mirror those of patients with Alzheimer disease who had normally learned to speak. PMID:22823942

  2. Reverse engineering human neurodegenerative disease using pluripotent stem cell technology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Deng, Wenbin

    2016-05-01

    With the technology of reprogramming somatic cells by introducing defined transcription factors that enables the generation of "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)" with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), it has become possible to use this technology to produce various cells and tissues that have been difficult to obtain from living bodies. This advancement is bringing forth rapid progress in iPSC-based disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. More and more studies have demonstrated that phenotypes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders could be rather faithfully recapitulated in iPSC-derived neural cell cultures. Moreover, despite the adult-onset nature of the diseases, pathogenic phenotypes and cellular abnormalities often exist in early developmental stages, providing new "windows of opportunity" for understanding mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and for discovering new medicines. The cell reprogramming technology enables a reverse engineering approach for modeling the cellular degenerative phenotypes of a wide range of human disorders. An excellent example is the study of the human neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using iPSCs. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs), culminating in muscle wasting and death from respiratory failure. The iPSC approach provides innovative cell culture platforms to serve as ALS patient-derived model systems. Researchers have converted iPSCs derived from ALS patients into MNs and various types of glial cells, all of which are involved in ALS, to study the disease. The iPSC technology could be used to determine the role of specific genetic factors to track down what׳s wrong in the neurodegenerative disease process in the "disease-in-a-dish" model. Meanwhile, parallel experiments of targeting the same specific genes in human ESCs could also be performed to

  3. Alzheimer's disease: An acquired neurodegenerative laminopathy

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Bess

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The nucleus is typically depicted as a sphere encircled by a smooth surface of nuclear envelope. For most cell types, this depiction is accurate. In other cell types and in some pathological conditions, however, the smooth nuclear exterior is interrupted by tubular invaginations of the nuclear envelope, often referred to as a “nucleoplasmic reticulum,” into the deep nuclear interior. We have recently reported a significant expansion of the nucleoplasmic reticulum in postmortem human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue. We found that dysfunction of the nucleoskeleton, a lamin-rich meshwork that coats the inner nuclear membrane and associated invaginations, is causal for Alzheimer's disease-related neurodegeneration in vivo. Additionally, we demonstrated that proper function of the nucleoskeleton is required for survival of adult neurons and maintaining genomic architecture. Here, we elaborate on the significance of these findings in regard to pathological states and physiological aging, and discuss cellular causes and consequences of nuclear envelope invagination. PMID:27167528

  4. Chronic sleep disturbance and neural injury: links to neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, Sabra M; Videnovic, Aleksandar

    2016-01-01

    Sleep–wake disruption is frequently observed and often one of the earliest reported symptoms of many neurodegenerative disorders. This provides insight into the underlying pathophysiology of these disorders, as sleep–wake abnormalities are often accompanied by neurodegenerative or neurotransmitter changes. However, in addition to being a symptom of the underlying neurodegenerative condition, there is also emerging evidence that sleep disturbance itself may contribute to the development and facilitate the progression of several of these disorders. Due to its impact both as an early symptom and as a potential factor contributing to ongoing neurodegeneration, the sleep–wake cycle is an ideal target for further study for potential interventions not only to lessen the burden of these diseases but also to slow their progression. In this review, we will highlight the sleep phenotypes associated with some of the major neurodegenerative disorders, focusing on the circadian disruption associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the rapid eye movement behavior disorder and sleep fragmentation associated with Parkinson’s disease, and the insomnia and circadian dysregulation associated with Huntington’s disease. PMID:26869817

  5. Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Cancer-Related Genes and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghetti, Bernardino; Buonaguro, Franco M.

    2014-07-01

    The following sections are included: * INTRODUCTION * MUTATIONS IN THE CSF1R GENE ASSOCIATED WITH DIFFUSE LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY WITH SPHEROIDS AND HUMAN CANCERS. * A SPECIAL LINK HAS BEEN SHOWN BETWEEN PTEN AND AD. * ACETYLCHOLINE DEFICIENCY AND PATHOGENESIS OF AD. * MIRNAS AND COMMON PATHWAYS IN CANCER AND NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE. * SUMMARY * REFERENCES

  6. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Landgrave-Gómez, Jorge; Mercado-Gómez, Octavio; Guevara-Guzmán, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) and its regulation in diseases is one of the most interesting processes of contemporary neuroscience. In the last decade, a growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with CNS’s regulation and neurological disorders are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. “Epigenetics”, introduced for the first time by Waddington in the early 1940s, has been traditionally referred to a variety of mechanisms that allow heritable changes in gene expression even in the absence of DNA mutation. However, new definitions acknowledge that many of these mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are used by neurons to control a variety of functions dependent on gene expression. Indeed, in the recent years these mechanisms have shown their importance in the maintenance of a healthy CNS. Moreover, environmental inputs that have shown effects in CNS diseases, such as nutrition, that can modulate the concentration of a variety of metabolites such as acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and beta hydroxybutyrate (β-HB), regulates some of these epigenetic modifications, linking in a precise way environment with gene expression. This manuscript will portray what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the CNS and their participation in a variety of neurological disorders. We will discuss how the machinery that controls these modifications plays an important role in processes involved in neurological disorders such as neurogenesis and cell growth. Moreover, we will discuss how environmental inputs modulate these modifications producing metabolic and physiological alterations that could exert beneficial effects on neurological diseases. Finally, we will highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics

  7. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Landgrave-Gómez, Jorge; Mercado-Gómez, Octavio; Guevara-Guzmán, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) and its regulation in diseases is one of the most interesting processes of contemporary neuroscience. In the last decade, a growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with CNS's regulation and neurological disorders are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. "Epigenetics", introduced for the first time by Waddington in the early 1940s, has been traditionally referred to a variety of mechanisms that allow heritable changes in gene expression even in the absence of DNA mutation. However, new definitions acknowledge that many of these mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are used by neurons to control a variety of functions dependent on gene expression. Indeed, in the recent years these mechanisms have shown their importance in the maintenance of a healthy CNS. Moreover, environmental inputs that have shown effects in CNS diseases, such as nutrition, that can modulate the concentration of a variety of metabolites such as acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) and beta hydroxybutyrate (β-HB), regulates some of these epigenetic modifications, linking in a precise way environment with gene expression. This manuscript will portray what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the CNS and their participation in a variety of neurological disorders. We will discuss how the machinery that controls these modifications plays an important role in processes involved in neurological disorders such as neurogenesis and cell growth. Moreover, we will discuss how environmental inputs modulate these modifications producing metabolic and physiological alterations that could exert beneficial effects on neurological diseases. Finally, we will highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics and

  8. ETHICAL AND GENETIC ASPECTS REGARDING PRESYMPTOMATIC TESTING FOR NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES.

    PubMed

    Cozaru, Georgeta Camelial; Aşchie, Mariana; Mitroi, Anca Florentina; Poinăreanu, I; Gorduza, E V

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's dementia, Huntington's chorea, Parkinson's disease or spinocerebellar ataxia, manifests into adulthood with an insidious onset, slowly of progressive symptoms. All of these diseases are characterized by presimptomatic stages that preceded with many years of clinical debut. In Parkinson's disease, more than half of the dopaminergic neurons of the black substance are lost before the advent of motor characteristic manifestations. In Huntington's chorea, the progressive neurodegenerative disease could be diagnose prenatal and presymptomatic by analyse of the number of CAG repeats in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene. A similar mechanism represented by expansion of trinucleotide repeats during hereditary transmission from parents to children was identified in fragile X syndrome, spinocerebellar ataxia, spinal muscular and bulbar atrophy, or myotonic dystrophy. Presymptomatic diagnosis in all these progressive diseases raise many ethical issues, due to the psychological impact that can cause the prediction of a disease for which there is currently no curative treatment. Therefore, a positive result can produce serious psychological trauma and major changes in the lifestyle of the individual, instead, a negative result can bring joy and tranquillity. But the problem arises if presymptomatic testing in these neurodegenerative diseases brings greater benefits compared to the possible psychological damage, which can add the risk of stigmatization or discrimination. PMID:27125067

  9. Quantitative analysis on electrooculography (EOG) for neurodegenerative disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang-Chia; Chaovalitwongse, W. Art; Pardalos, Panos M.; Seref, Onur; Xanthopoulos, Petros; Sackellares, J. C.; Skidmore, Frank M.

    2007-11-01

    Many studies have documented abnormal horizontal and vertical eye movements in human neurodegenerative disease as well as during altered states of consciousness (including drowsiness and intoxication) in healthy adults. Eye movement measurement may play an important role measuring the progress of neurodegenerative diseases and state of alertness in healthy individuals. There are several techniques for measuring eye movement, Infrared detection technique (IR). Video-oculography (VOG), Scleral eye coil and EOG. Among those available recording techniques, EOG is a major source for monitoring the abnormal eye movement. In this real-time quantitative analysis study, the methods which can capture the characteristic of the eye movement were proposed to accurately categorize the state of neurodegenerative subjects. The EOG recordings were taken while 5 tested subjects were watching a short (>120 s) animation clip. In response to the animated clip the participants executed a number of eye movements, including vertical smooth pursued (SVP), horizontal smooth pursued (HVP) and random saccades (RS). Detection of abnormalities in ocular movement may improve our diagnosis and understanding a neurodegenerative disease and altered states of consciousness. A standard real-time quantitative analysis will improve detection and provide a better understanding of pathology in these disorders.

  10. Genetics of neurodegenerative diseases: insights from high-throughput resequencing

    PubMed Central

    Tsuji, Shoji

    2010-01-01

    During the past three decades, we have witnessed remarkable advances in our understanding of the molecular etiologies of hereditary neurodegenerative diseases, which have been accomplished by ‘positional cloning’ strategies. The discoveries of the causative genes for hereditary neurodegenerative diseases accelerated not only the studies on the pathophysiologic mechanisms of diseases, but also the studies for the development of disease-modifying therapies. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) based on the ‘common disease–common variants hypothesis’ are currently undertaken to elucidate disease-relevant alleles. Although GWAS have successfully revealed numerous susceptibility genes for neurodegenerative diseases, odds ratios associated with risk alleles are generally low and account for only a small proportion of estimated heritability. Recent studies have revealed that the effect sizes of the disease-relevant alleles that are identified based on comprehensive resequencing of large data sets of Parkinson disease are substantially larger than those identified by GWAS. These findings strongly argue for the role of the ‘common disease–multiple rare variants hypothesis’ in sporadic neurodegenerative diseases. Given the rapidly improving technologies of next-generation sequencing next-generation sequencing (NGS), we expect that NGS will eventually enable us to identify all the variants in an individual's personal genome, in particular, clinically relevant alleles. Beyond this, whole genome resequencing is expected to bring a paradigm shift in clinical practice, where clinical practice including diagnosis and decision-making for appropriate therapeutic procedures is based on the ‘personal genome’. The personal genome era is expected to be realized in the near future, and society needs to prepare for this new era. PMID:20413655

  11. PET/SPECT imaging agents for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lin; Ploessl, Karl; Kung, Hank F.

    2014-01-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission computed tomography (PET) imaging agents for neurodegenerative disease have a significant impact on clinical diagnosis and patient care. The examples of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) imaging agents described in this paper provide a general view on how imaging agents, ie radioactive drugs, are selected, chemically prepared and applied in humans. Imaging the living human brain can provide unique information on the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD and PD. The imaging method will also facilitate preclinical and clinical trials of new drugs offering specific information related to drug binding sites in the brain. In the future, chemists will continue to play important roles in identifying specific targets, synthesizing target-specific probes for screening and ultimately testing them by in vitro and in vivo assays. PMID:24676152

  12. Brain CHIP: removing the culprits in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Dickey, Chad A; Patterson, Cam; Dickson, Dennis; Petrucelli, Leonard

    2007-01-01

    A factor that is common to the most-frequent neurodegenerative diseases is the accumulation of abnormal proteins that are associated with cellular dysfunction. Contrary to years of speculation, recent evidence suggests that soluble intermediates--not the visible pathological aggregates associated with disease--are the cause of neurotoxicity. These findings suggest that aggregate formation might be an adaptive stress response that is facilitated by neuronal protein triage molecules. In particular, the molecular co-chaperone CHIP (C terminus of HSC70-interacting protein) has been linked to several of these disorders, serving as a crucial catalyst for the ubiquitination of several heat shock protein (HSP)70 client proteins that are involved in neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms that are involved in CHIP-mediated protein trafficking might provide invaluable clues to neuronal function, both in normal and diseased conditions. PMID:17127096

  13. Olfaction in Neurologic and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Maria Dantas Costa Lima; Voegels, Richard Louis; Pinna, Fábio de Rezende; Imamura, Rui; Farfel, José Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Loss of smell is involved in various neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease. However, the olfactory test is usually neglected by physicians at large. Objective The aim of this study was to review the current literature about the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases. Data Synthesis Twenty-seven studies were selected for analysis, and the olfactory system, olfaction, and the association between the olfactory dysfunction and dementias were reviewed. Furthermore, is described an up to date in olfaction. Conclusion Otolaryngologist should remember the importance of olfaction evaluation in daily practice. Furthermore, neurologists and physicians in general should include olfactory tests in the screening of those at higher risk of dementia. PMID:25992176

  14. Extracting regional brain patterns for classification of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulido, Andrea; Rueda, Andrea; Romero, Eduardo

    2013-11-01

    In structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), neurodegenerative diseases generally present complex brain patterns that can be correlated with di erent clinical onsets of this pathologies. An objective method that aims to determine both global and local changes is not usually available in clinical practice, thus the interpretation of these images is strongly dependent on the radiologist's skills. In this paper, we propose a strategy which interprets the brain structure using a framework that highlights discriminant brain patterns for neurodegenerative diseases. This is accomplished by combining a probabilistic learning technique, which identi es and groups regions with similar visual features, with a visual saliency method that exposes relevant information within each region. The association of such patterns with a speci c disease is herein evaluated in a classi cation task, using a dataset including 80 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and 76 healthy subjects (NC). Preliminary results show that the proposed method reaches a maximum classi cation accuracy of 81.39%.

  15. Cerebral correlates of psychotic syndromes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jellinger, Kurt A

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Psychosis has been recognized as a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases and a core feature of dementia that worsens most clinical courses. It includes hallucinations, delusions including paranoia, aggressive behaviour, apathy and other psychotic phenomena that occur in a wide range of degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies), Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal degenerations, motoneuron and prion diseases. Many of these psychiatric manifestations may be early expressions of cognitive impairment, but often there is a dissociation between psychotic/behavioural symptoms and the rather linear decline in cognitive function, suggesting independent pathophysiological mechanisms. Strictly neuropathological explanations are likely to be insufficient to explain them, and a large group of heterogeneous factors (environmental, neurochemical changes, genetic factors, etc.) may influence their pathogenesis. Clinico-pathological evaluation of behavioural and psychotic symptoms (PS) in the setting of neurodegenerative and dementing disorders presents a significant challenge for modern neurosciences. Recognition and understanding of these manifestations may lead to the development of more effective preventive and therapeutic options that can serve to delay long-term progression of these devastating disorders and improve the patients’ quality of life. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and distinctive pathological features underlying the development of PS in neurodegenerative diseases may provide important insights into psychotic processes in general. PMID:21418522

  16. Multimodality Imaging of Alzheimer Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Dementias

    PubMed Central

    Nasrallah, Ilya M.; Wolk, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, result in cognitive decline and dementia and are a leading cause of mortality in the growing elderly population. These progressive diseases typically have insidious onset, with overlapping clinical features early in disease course that makes diagnosis challenging. Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with characteristic, although not completely understood, changes in the brain: abnormal protein deposition, synaptic dysfunction, neuronal injury and neuronal death. Neuroimaging biomarkers – principally regional atrophy on structural MRI, patterns of hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and detection of cerebral amyloid plaque on amyloid PET – are able to evaluate the patterns of these abnormalities in the brain to assist and improve early diagnosis of these conditions as well as to help predict disease course in the future. There are unique strengths of these techniques as well as synergies in multimodality evaluation of the patient with cognitive decline or dementia. This review will discuss the key imaging biomarkers from MRI, 18F-FDG PET, and amyloid PET, the imaging features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias, the role of various neuroimaging studies in differential diagnosis and prognosis, and introduce some promising imaging techniques currently under development. PMID:25413136

  17. Pain in Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    de Tommaso, Marina; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Defrin, Ruth; Kunz, Miriam; Pickering, Gisele; Valeriani, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington's disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed. PMID:27313396

  18. PREFACE: Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastore, Annalisa

    2012-06-01

    , about 15 years after the original reports, it is clear that amyloids are special structures that occur in nature under several different guises, some good, some evil [3]. The number of diseases associated with misfolding and fibrillogenesis has steadily increased. Examples of fairly common pathologies associated with fibre formation include Alzheimer's disease (currently one of the major threats for human health in our increasingly aging world), Parkinson's disease and several rare, but not less severe, pathologies. On the other hand, it is also clear that amyloid formation is a convenient mechanism for storing peptides and/or proteins in a compact and resistant way. The number of organisms/tissues in which amyloid deposits are found is thus increasing. It is also not too far-fetched to expect that the mechanical properties of amyloids could be used in biotechnology to design new materials. Because of the importance of this topic in so many scientific fields, we have dedicated this special issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter to the topic of protein aggregation and disease. In the following pages we have collected two reviews and five articles that explore new and interesting developments in the field. References [1] Olby R 1994 The Path of the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (New York: Dover) [2] Dobson C M 2004 Principles of protein folding, misfolding and aggregation Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. 15 3-16 [3] Hammer N D, Wang X, McGuffie B A, Chapman M R 2008 Amyloids: friend or foe? J. Alzheimers Dis. 13 407-19 Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases contents Protein aggregation and misfolding: good or evil?Annalisa Pastore and Pierandrea Temussi Alzheimer's disease: biological aspects, therapeutic perspectives and diagnostic toolsM Di Carlo, D Giacomazza and P L San Biagio Entrapment of Aβ1-40 peptide in unstructured aggregatesC Corsale, R Carrotta, M R Mangione, S Vilasi, A Provenzano, G Cavallaro, D Bulone and P L San Biagio Elemental micro

  19. Liposomes for Targeted Delivery of Active Agents against Neurodegenerative Diseases (Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease)

    PubMed Central

    Spuch, Carlos; Navarro, Carmen

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease represent a huge unmet medical need. The prevalence of both diseases is increasing, but the efficacy of treatment is still very limited due to various factors including the blood brain barrier (BBB). Drug delivery to the brain remains the major challenge for the treatment of all neurodegenerative diseases because of the numerous protective barriers surrounding the central nervous system. New therapeutic drugs that cross the BBB are critically needed for treatment of many brain diseases. One of the significant factors on neurotherapeutics is the constraint of the blood brain barrier and the drug release kinetics that cause peripheral serious side effects. Contrary to common belief, neurodegenerative and neurological diseases may be multisystemic in nature, and this presents numerous difficulties for their potential treatment. Overall, the aim of this paper is to summarize the last findings and news related to liposome technology in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and demonstrate the potential of this technology for the development of novel therapeutics and the possible applications of liposomes in the two most widespread neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. PMID:22203906

  20. PET/MR in dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Barthel, Henryk; Schroeter, Matthias L; Hoffmann, Karl-Titus; Sabri, Osama

    2015-05-01

    The spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases covers the dementias, parkinsonian syndromes, Huntington disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and prion diseases. In these entities, brain MRI is often used in clinical routine to exclude other pathologies and to demonstrate specific atrophy patterns. [18F]FDG PET delivers early and sensitive readouts of neural tissue loss, and more specific PET tracers currently in use clinically target β-amyloid plaques or dopaminergic deficiency. The recent integration of PET into MR technology offers a new chance to improve early and differential diagnosis of many neurodegenerative diseases. Initial evidence in the literature is available to support this notion. New emerging PET tracers, such as tracers that bind to tau or α-synuclein aggregates, as well as MR techniques, like diffusion-tensor imaging, resting-state functional MRI, and arterial spin labeling, have the potential to broaden the diagnostic capabilities of combined PET/MRI to image dementias, Parkinson disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. The ultimate goal is to establish combined PET/MRI as a first-line imaging technique to provide, in a one-stop-shop fashion with improved patient comfort, all biomarker information required to increase diagnostic confidence toward specific diagnoses. The technical challenge of accurate PET data attenuation correction within PET/MRI systems needs yet to be solved. Apart from the projected clinical routine applications, future research would need to answer the questions of whether combined brain PET/MRI is able to improve basic research of neurodegenerative diseases and antineurodegeneration drug testing. PMID:25841277

  1. Aberrant Protein S-Nitrosylation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Tu, Shichun; Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sunico, Carmen R.; Okamoto, Shu-ichi; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2013-01-01

    S-Nitrosylation is a redox-mediated posttranslational modification that regulates protein function via covalent reaction of nitric oxide (NO)-related species with a cysteine thiol group on the target protein. Under physiological conditions, S-nitrosylation can be an important modulator of signal transduction pathways, akin to phosphorylation. However, with aging or environmental toxins that generate excessive NO, aberrant S-nitrosylation reactions can occur and affect protein misfolding, mitochondrial fragmentation, synaptic function, apoptosis or autophagy. Here, we discuss how aberrantly S-nitrosylated proteins (SNO-proteins) play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Insight into the pathophysiological role of aberrant S-nitrosylation pathways will enhance our understanding of molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases and point to potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:23719160

  2. Therapeutic targeting of autophagy in neurodegenerative and infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bento, Carla F.

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved process that uses double-membrane vesicles to deliver cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation. Although autophagy may impact many facets of human biology and disease, in this review we focus on the ability of autophagy to protect against certain neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Autophagy enhances the clearance of toxic, cytoplasmic, aggregate-prone proteins and infectious agents. The beneficial roles of autophagy can now be extended to supporting cell survival and regulating inflammation. Autophagic control of inflammation is one area where autophagy may have similar benefits for both infectious and neurodegenerative diseases beyond direct removal of the pathogenic agents. Preclinical data supporting the potential therapeutic utility of autophagy modulation in such conditions is accumulating. PMID:26101267

  3. TRPM7 and its role in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuyang; Sukumaran, Pramod; Schaar, Anne; Singh, Brij B

    2015-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions have been shown to play an important role in regulating various neuronal functions. In the present review we focus on the emerging role of transient potential melastatin-7 (TRPM7) channel in not only regulating Ca2+ and Mg2+ homeostasis necessary for biological functions, but also how alterations in TRPM7 function/expression could induce neurodegeneration. Although eight TRPM channels have been identified, the channel properties, mode of activation, and physiological responses of various TRPM channels are quite distinct. Among the known 8 TRPM channels only TRPM6 and TRPM7 channels are highly permeable to both Ca2+ and Mg2+; however here we will only focus on TRPM7 as unlike TRPM6, TRPM7 channels are abundantly expressed in neuronal cells. Importantly, the discrepancy in TRPM7 channel function and expression leads to various neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD). Further, it is emerging as a key factor in anoxic neuronal death and in other neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, by understanding the precise involvement of the TRPM7 channels in different neurodegenerative diseases and by understanding the factors that regulate TRPM7 channels, we could uncover new strategies in the future that could evolve as new drug therapeutic targets for effective treatment of these neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26218331

  4. Epidemiology of mild traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Raquel C.; Yaffe, Kristine

    2015-01-01

    Every year an estimated 42 million people worldwide suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. More severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a well-established risk factor for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, large epidemiological studies have additionally identified MTBI as a risk factor for dementia. The role of MTBI in risk of PD or ALS is less well established. Repetitive MTBI and repetitive sub-concussive head trauma has been linked to increased risk for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a unique neurodegenerative tauopathy first described in boxers but more recently described in a variety of contact sport athletes, military veterans, and civilians exposed to repetitive MTBI. Studies of repetitive MTBI and CTE have been limited by referral bias, lack of consensus clinical criteria for CTE, challenges of quantifying MTBI exposure, and potential for confounding. The prevalence of CTE is unknown and the amount of MTBI or sub-concussive trauma exposure necessary to produce CTE is unclear. This review will summarize the current literature regarding the epidemiology of MTBI, post-TBI dementia and Parkinson's disease, and CTE while highlighting methodological challenges and critical future directions of research in this field. PMID:25748121

  5. Potential application of lithium in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lazzara, Carol A.; Kim, Yong-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Lithium, the long-standing hallmark treatment for bipolar disorder, has recently been identified as a potential neuroprotective agent in neurodegeneration. Here we focus on introducing numerous in vitro and in vivo studies that have shown lithium treatment to be efficacious in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, increasing autophagy, inhibiting apoptosis, and decreasing the accumulation of α-synulcein, with an emphasis on Parkinson's disease. A number of biological pathways have been shown to be involved in causing these neuroprotective effects. The inhibition of GSK-3β has been the mechanism most studied; however, other modes of action include the regulation of apoptotic proteins and glutamate excitotoxicity as well as down-regulation of calpain. This review provides a framework of the neuroprotective effects of lithium in neurodegenerative diseases and the putative mechanisms by which lithium provides the protection. Lithium-only treatment may not be a suitable therapeutic option for neurodegenerative diseases due to inconsistent efficacy and potential side-effects, however, the use of low dose lithium in combination with other potential or existing therapeutic compounds may be a promising approach to reduce symptoms and disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26578864

  6. Dysphagia in stroke, neurodegenerative disease, and advanced dementia.

    PubMed

    Altman, Kenneth W; Richards, Amanda; Goldberg, Leanne; Frucht, Steven; McCabe, Daniel J

    2013-12-01

    Aspiration risk from dysphagia increases with central and peripheral neurologic disease. Stroke, microvascular ischemic disease, a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, and advancing dementia all have unique aspects. However, there are distinct commonalities in this population. Increasing nutritional requirements to stave off oropharyngeal muscular atrophy and a sedentary lifestyle further tax the patient's abilities to safely swallow. This article reviews stroke, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and advanced dementia. Approaches to screening and evaluation, recognizing sentinel indicators of decline that increase aspiration risk, and options for managing global laryngeal dysfunction are also presented. PMID:24262965

  7. Role of Redox Signaling in Neuroinflammation and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Yang, Chuen-Mao

    2013-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), a redox signal, are produced by various enzymatic reactions and chemical processes, which are essential for many physiological functions and act as second messengers. However, accumulating evidence has implicated the pathogenesis of several human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders related to increased oxidative stress. Under pathological conditions, increasing ROS production can regulate the expression of diverse inflammatory mediators during brain injury. Elevated levels of several proinflammatory factors including cytokines, peptides, pathogenic structures, and peroxidants in the central nervous system (CNS) have been detected in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). These proinflammatory factors act as potent stimuli in brain inflammation through upregulation of diverse inflammatory genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and adhesion molecules. To date, the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying the expression of target proteins regulated by these factors are elusive. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms underlying the intracellular signaling pathways, especially ROS, involved in the expression of several inflammatory proteins induced by proinflammatory factors in brain resident cells. Understanding redox signaling transduction mechanisms involved in the expression of target proteins and genes may provide useful therapeutic strategies for brain injury, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24455696

  8. Neurodegenerative diseases and widespread aggregation are associated with supersaturated proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ciryam, Prajwal; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Morimoto, Richard I.; Dobson, Christopher M.; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2013-01-01

    Summary The maintenance of protein solubility is a fundamental aspect of protein homeostasis, as aggregation is associated with cytotoxicity and a variety of human diseases. Numerous proteins unrelated in sequence and structure, however, can misfold and aggregate, and widespread aggregation can occur in living systems under stress or ageing. A crucial question in this context is why only certain proteins aggregate in vivo while others do not. We identify here the proteins most vulnerable to aggregation as those whose cellular concentrations are high relative to their solubilities. These supersaturated proteins represent a metastable sub-proteome involved in pathological aggregation during stress and ageing, and are overrepresented in biochemical processes associated with neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, such cellular processes become dysfunctional when the ability to keep intrinsically supersaturated proteins soluble is compromised. Thus, the simultaneous analysis of abundance and solubility can rationalize the diverse cellular pathologies linked to neurodegenerative diseases and aging. PMID:24183671

  9. Clinical neurogenetics: behavioral management of inherited neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Wexler, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Psychiatric symptoms often manifest years before overt neurologic signs in patients with inherited neurodegenerative disease. The most frequently cited example of this phenomenon is the early onset of personality changes in "presymptomatic" Huntington patients. In some cases the changes in mood and cognition are even more debilitating than their neurologic symptoms. The goal of this article is to provide the neurologist with a concise primer that can be applied in a busy clinic or private practice. PMID:24176427

  10. Hydrogen Sulfide, the Next Potent Preventive and Therapeutic Agent in Aging and Age-Associated Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuan; Tang, Zhi-Han; Ren, Zhong; Qu, Shun-Lin; Liu, Mi-Hua; Liu, Lu-Shan

    2013-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is the third endogenous signaling gasotransmitter, following nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. It is physiologically generated by cystathionine-γ-lyase, cystathionine-β-synthase, and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase. H2S has been gaining increasing attention as an important endogenous signaling molecule because of its significant effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Substantial evidence shows that H2S is involved in aging by inhibiting free-radical reactions, activating SIRT1, and probably interacting with the age-related gene Klotho. Moreover, H2S has been shown to have therapeutic potential in age-associated diseases. This article provides an overview of the physiological functions and effects of H2S in aging and age-associated diseases, and proposes the potential health and therapeutic benefits of H2S. PMID:23297346

  11. Stem cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Stem cells offer an enormous pool of resources for the understanding of the human body. One proposed use of stem cells has been as an autologous therapy. The use of stem cells for neurodegenerative diseases has become of interest. Clinical applications of stem cells for Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis will increase in the coming years, and although great care will need to be taken when moving forward with prospective treatments, the application of stem cells is highly promising. PMID:21144012

  12. Neural substrates of spontaneous narrative production in focal neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gola, Kelly A; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D; Felix, Cordula M; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P; Stanley, Christine M; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2015-12-01

    Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups. Storytelling patterns may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls (NC)) were analyzed for storytelling frequency and characteristics, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' level of social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during the interaction, whereas ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs. svPPAs and bvFTDs were rated as less attentive to social cues. Aspects of storytelling were related to diverse cognitive and socio-emotional functions, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, narrative evaluations patterns, and social attentiveness correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention. PMID:26485159

  13. Dysfunctional Mitochondrial Dynamics in the Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Haun, Florian; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in neurodegenerative diseases, however molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that nitrosative stress, mediated by reactive nitrogen species (RNS), may play a role in mitochondrial pathology. Here, we review findings that highlight the abnormal mitochondrial morphology observed in many neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. One mechanism whereby RNS can affect mitochondrial function and thus neuronal survival occurs via protein S-nitrosylation, representing chemical reaction of a nitric oxide (NO) group with a critical cysteine thiol. In this review, we focus on the signaling pathway whereby S-nitrosylation of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (dynamin-related protein 1; forming S-nitrosothiol (SNO)-Drp1) precipitates excessive mitochondrial fission or fragmentation and consequent bioenergetic compromise. Subsequently, the formation of SNO-Drp1 leads to synaptic damage and neuronal death. Thus, intervention in the SNO-Drp1 pathway may provide therapeutic benefit in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24587691

  14. The 'golden age' of DNA methylation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuso, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    DNA methylation reactions are regulated, in the first instance, by enzymes and the intermediates that constitute the 'so called' one-carbon metabolism. This is a complex biochemical pathway, also known as the homocysteine cycle, regulated by the presence of B vitamins (folate, B6, B12) and choline, among other metabolites. One of the intermediates of this metabolism is S-adenosylmethionine, which represent the methyl donor in all the DNA methyltransferase reactions in eukaryotes. The one-carbon metabolism therefore produces the substrate necessary for the transferring of a methyl group on the cytosine residues of DNA; S-adenosylmethionine also regulates the activity of the enzymes that catalyze this reaction, namely the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Alterations of this metabolic cycle can therefore be responsible for aberrant DNA methylation processes possibly leading to several human diseases. As a matter of fact, increasing evidences indicate that a number of human diseases with multifactorial origin may have an epigenetic basis. This is also due to the great technical advances in the field of epigenetic research. Among the human diseases associated with epigenetic factors, aging-related and neurodegenerative diseases are probably the object of most intense research. This review will present the main evidences linking several human diseases to DNA methylation, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, together with a short description of the state-of-the-art of methylation assays. PMID:23183753

  15. Redox Processes in Neurodegenerative Disease Involving Reactive Oxygen Species

    PubMed Central

    Kovacic, Peter; Somanathan, Ratnasamy

    2012-01-01

    Much attention has been devoted to neurodegenerative diseases involving redox processes. This review comprises an update involving redox processes reported in the considerable literature in recent years. The mechanism involves reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress, usually in the brain. There are many examples including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, prions, Down’s syndrome, ataxia, multiple sclerosis, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, schizophrenia, and Tardive Dyskinesia. Evidence indicates a protective role for antioxidants, which may have clinical implications. A multifaceted approach to mode of action appears reasonable. PMID:23730253

  16. Mitochondrial and Cell Death Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal cell death are unresolved. Morphological, biochemical, genetic, as well as cell and animal model studies reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and overlying genetic variations, triggering neurodegeneration according to a cell death matrix theory. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in putative mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This review summarizes how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to neuronal death in AD, PD, and ALS and could serve as a target for drug therapy. PMID:21258649

  17. Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases – an update

    PubMed Central

    Amor, Sandra; Peferoen, Laura A N; Vogel, Daphne Y S; Breur, Marjolein; Valk, Paul; Baker, David; Noort, Johannes M

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegeneration, the progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), is the major cause of cognitive and motor dysfunction. While neuronal degeneration is well-known in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, it is also observed in neurotrophic infections, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neoplastic disorders, prion diseases, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as neuropsychiatric disorders and genetic disorders. A common link between these diseases is chronic activation of innate immune responses including those mediated by microglia, the resident CNS macrophages. Such activation can trigger neurotoxic pathways leading to progressive degeneration. Yet, microglia are also crucial for controlling inflammatory processes, and repair and regeneration. The adaptive immune response is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases contributing to tissue damage, but also plays important roles in resolving inflammation and mediating neuroprotection and repair. The growing awareness that the immune system is inextricably involved in mediating damage as well as regeneration and repair in neurodegenerative disorders, has prompted novel approaches to modulate the immune system, although it remains whether these approaches can be used in humans. Additional factors in humans include ageing and exposure to environmental factors such as systemic infections that provide additional clues that may be human specific and therefore difficult to translate from animal models. Nevertheless, a better understanding of how immune responses are involved in neuronal damage and regeneration, as reviewed here, will be essential to develop effective therapies to improve quality of life, and mitigate the personal, economic and social impact of these diseases. PMID:24329535

  18. Targeting New Candidate Genes by Small Molecules Approaching Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases. PMID:26712747

  19. The Endocannabinoid System: A Putative Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Lupi, Matteo; Sarchione, Fabiola; Matarazzo, Ilaria; Santacroce, Rita; Petruccelli, Filippo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    Background: Following the characterization of the chemical structure of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, researchers have moved on with scientific valuable explorations. Objectives: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases. Materials and Methods: The article is a critical analysis of the most recent data currently present in scientific literature on the subject; a qualitative synthesis of only the most significant articles has been performed. Results: In central nervous system, endocannabinoids show a neuromodulatory function, often of retrograde type. This way, they play an important role in synaptic plasticity and in cognitive, motor, sensory and affective processes. In addition, in some acute or chronic pathologies of central nervous system, such as neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, endocannabinoids can perform a pro-homeostatic and neuroprotective function, through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Conclusions: The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology. PMID:24971285

  20. Creatine for neuroprotection in neurodegenerative disease: end of story?

    PubMed

    Bender, Andreas; Klopstock, Thomas

    2016-08-01

    Creatine (Cr) is a natural compound that plays an important role in cellular energy homeostasis. In addition, it ameliorates oxidative stress, glutamatergic excitotoxicity, and apoptosis in vitro as well as in vivo. Since these pathomechanisms are implicated to play a role in several neurodegenerative diseases, Cr supplementation as a neuroprotective strategy has received a lot of attention with several positive animal studies in models of Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This has led to a number of randomized clinical trials (RCT) with oral Cr supplementation, with durations up to 5 years. In this paper, we review the evidence and consequences stemming from these trials. In the case of PD, the initial phase II RCT was promising and led to a large and well-designed phase III trial, which, however, turned out to be negative for all outcome measures. None of the RCTs that have examined effects of Cr in ALS patients showed any clinical benefit. In HD, Cr in high doses (up to 30 g/day) was shown to slow down brain atrophy in premanifest Huntingtin mutation carriers. In spite of this, proof is still lacking that Cr can also have beneficial clinical effects in this group of patients, who will go on to develop HD symptoms. Taken together, the use of Cr supplementation has so far proved disappointing in clinical studies with a number of symptomatic neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26748651

  1. Genetic determinants at the interface of cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Morris, L G T; Veeriah, S; Chan, T A

    2010-06-17

    It has been hypothesized that oncogenesis and neurodegeneration may share common mechanistic foundations. Recent evidence now reveals a number of genes in which alteration leads to either carcinogenesis or neurodegeneration, depending on cellular context. Pathways that have emerged as having critical roles in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease include those involving genes such as PARK2, ATM, PTEN, PTPRD, and mTOR. A number of mechanisms have been implicated, and commonly affected cellular processes include cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, and response to oxidative stress. For example, we have recently shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase PARK2 is mutated or deleted in many different human malignancies and helps drive loss on chromosome 6q25.2-27, a genomic region frequently deleted in cancers. Mutation in PARK2 is also the most common cause of juvenile Parkinson's disease. Mutations in PARK2 result in an upregulation of its substrate cyclin E, resulting in dysregulated entry into the cell cycle. In neurons, this process results in cell death, but in cycling cells, the result is a growth advantage. Thus, depending on whether the cell affected is a dividing cell or a post-mitotic neuron, responses to these alterations may differ, ultimately leading to varying disease phenotypes. Here, we review the substantial data implicating specific genes in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:20418918

  2. Corruption and Spread of Pathogenic Proteins in Neurodegenerative Diseases*

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Lary C.; LeVine, Harry

    2012-01-01

    With advancing age, the brain becomes increasingly susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases, most of which are characterized by the misfolding and errant aggregation of certain proteins. The induction of aggregation involves a crystallization-like seeding mechanism by which a specific protein is structurally corrupted by its misfolded conformer. The latest research indicates that, once formed, proteopathic seeds can spread from one locale to another via cellular uptake, transport, and release. Impeding this process could represent a unified therapeutic strategy for slowing the progression of a wide range of currently intractable disorders. PMID:22879600

  3. Corpora Amylacea in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Cause or Effect?

    PubMed Central

    Rohn, Troy T.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of corpora amylacea (CA) in the CNS is associated with both normal aging and neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD). CA are spherical bodies ranging in diameter (10–50 μm) and whose origin has been documented to be derived from both neural and glial sources. CA are reported to be primarily composed of glucose polymers, but approximately 4% of the total weight of CA is consistently composed of protein. CA are typically localized in the subpial, periventricular and perivascular regions within the CNS. The presence of CA in VaD has recently been documented and of interest was the localization of CA within the hippocampus proper. Despite numerous efforts, the precise role of CA in normal aging or disease is not known. The purpose of this mini review is to highlight the potential function of CA in various neurodegenerative disorders with an emphasis on the potential role if any these structures may play in the etiology of these diseases. PMID:26550607

  4. Endogenously Nitrated Proteins in Mouse Brain: Links To Neurodegenerative Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Sacksteder, Colette A.; Qian, Weijun; Knyushko, Tanya V.; Wang, Haixing H.; Chin, Mark H.; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Smith, Desmond J.; Squier, Thomas C.; Bigelow, Diana J.

    2006-07-04

    Increased nitrotyrosine modification of proteins has been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types; emerging evidence suggests its additional role in redox regulation of normal metabolism. In order to identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic dataset identifying 7,792 proteins from whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. Over half of the nitrated proteins identified have been reported to be involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces increased nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, characteristics consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. More striking is the five-fold greater nitration of tyrosines having nearby basic sidechains, suggesting electrostatic attraction of basic groups with the negative charge of peroxynitrite. Together, these results suggest that elevated peroxynitrite generation plays a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain and provides a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration.

  5. Advances in Epigenetics and Epigenomics for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Irfan A.

    2015-01-01

    In the post-genomic era, epigenetic factors—literally those that are “over” or “above” genetic ones and responsible for controlling the expression and function of genes—have emerged as important mediators of development and aging; gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions; and the pathophysiology of complex disease states. Here, we provide a brief overview of the major epigenetic mechanisms (ie, DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA regulation). We highlight the nearly ubiquitous profiles of epigenetic dysregulation that have been found in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also review innovative methods and technologies that enable the characterization of individual epigenetic modifications and more widespread epigenomic states at high resolution. We conclude that, together with complementary genetic, genomic, and related approaches, interrogating epigenetic and epigenomic profiles in neurodegenerative diseases represent important and increasingly practical strategies for advancing our understanding of and the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. PMID:21671162

  6. The promise of human embryonic stem cells in aging-associated diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yabut, Odessa; Bernstein, Harold S.

    2011-01-01

    Aging-associated diseases are often caused by progressive loss or dysfunction of cells that ultimately affect the overall function of tissues and organs. Successful treatment of these diseases could benefit from cell-based therapy that would regenerate lost cells or otherwise restore tissue function. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) promise to be an important therapeutic candidate in treating aging-associated diseases due to their unique capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency. To date, there are numerous hESC lines that have been developed and characterized. We will discuss how hESC lines are derived, their molecular and cellular properties, and how their ability to differentiate into all three embryonic germ layers is determined. We will also outline the methods currently employed to direct their differentiation into populations of tissue-specific, functional cells. Finally, we will highlight the general challenges that must be overcome and the strategies being developed to generate highly-purified hESC-derived cell populations that can safely be used for clinical applications. PMID:21566262

  7. Possible Role of the Transglutaminases in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Antonio; De Vivo, Giulia; Gentile, Vittorio

    2011-01-01

    Transglutaminases are ubiquitous enzymes which catalyze posttranslational modifications of proteins. Recently, transglutaminase-catalyzed post-translational modification of proteins has been shown to be involved in the molecular mechanisms responsible for human diseases. Transglutaminase activity has been hypothesized to be involved also in the pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for several human neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, supranuclear palsy, Huntington's disease, and other polyglutamine diseases, are characterized in part by aberrant cerebral transglutaminase activity and by increased cross-linked proteins in affected brains. This paper focuses on the possible molecular mechanisms by which transglutaminase activity could be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, and on the possible therapeutic effects of selective transglutaminase inhibitors for the cure of patients with diseases characterized by aberrant transglutaminase activity. PMID:21350675

  8. A simulation system for biomarker evolution in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Young, Alexandra L; Oxtoby, Neil P; Ourselin, Sebastien; Schott, Jonathan M; Alexander, Daniel C

    2015-12-01

    We present a framework for simulating cross-sectional or longitudinal biomarker data sets from neurodegenerative disease cohorts that reflect the temporal evolution of the disease and population diversity. The simulation system provides a mechanism for evaluating the performance of data-driven models of disease progression, which bring together biomarker measurements from large cross-sectional (or short term longitudinal) cohorts to recover the average population-wide dynamics. We demonstrate the use of the simulation framework in two different ways. First, to evaluate the performance of the Event Based Model (EBM) for recovering biomarker abnormality orderings from cross-sectional datasets. Second, to evaluate the performance of a differential equation model (DEM) for recovering biomarker abnormality trajectories from short-term longitudinal datasets. Results highlight several important considerations when applying data-driven models to sporadic disease datasets as well as key areas for future work. The system reveals several important insights into the behaviour of each model. For example, the EBM is robust to noise on the underlying biomarker trajectory parameters, under-sampling of the underlying disease time course and outliers who follow alternative event sequences. However, the EBM is sensitive to accurate estimation of the distribution of normal and abnormal biomarker measurements. In contrast, we find that the DEM is sensitive to noise on the biomarker trajectory parameters, resulting in an over estimation of the time taken for biomarker trajectories to go from normal to abnormal. This over estimate is approximately twice as long as the actual transition time of the trajectory for the expected noise level in neurodegenerative disease datasets. This simulation framework is equally applicable to a range of other models and longitudinal analysis techniques. PMID:26356148

  9. Virtual imaging laboratories for marker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Frisoni, Giovanni B; Redolfi, Alberto; Manset, David; Rousseau, Marc-Étienne; Toga, Arthur; Evans, Alan C

    2011-08-01

    The unprecedented growth, availability and accessibility of imaging data from people with neurodegenerative conditions has led to the development of computational infrastructures, which offer scientists access to large image databases and e-Science services such as sophisticated image analysis algorithm pipelines and powerful computational resources, as well as three-dimensional visualization and statistical tools. Scientific e-infrastructures have been and are being developed in Europe and North America that offer a suite of services for computational neuroscientists. The convergence of these initiatives represents a worldwide infrastructure that will constitute a global virtual imaging laboratory. This will provide computational neuroscientists with a virtual space that is accessible through an ordinary web browser, where image data sets and related clinical variables, algorithm pipelines, computational resources, and statistical and visualization tools will be transparently accessible to users irrespective of their physical location. Such an experimental environment will be instrumental to the success of ambitious scientific initiatives with high societal impact, such as the prevention of Alzheimer disease. In this article, we provide an overview of the currently available e-infrastructures and consider how computational neuroscience in neurodegenerative disease might evolve in the future. PMID:21727938

  10. Role of the Retromer Complex in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chaosi; Shah, Syed Zahid Ali; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2016-01-01

    The retromer complex is a protein complex that plays a central role in endosomal trafficking. Retromer dysfunction has been linked to a growing number of neurological disorders. The process of intracellular trafficking and recycling is crucial for maintaining normal intracellular homeostasis, which is partly achieved through the activity of the retromer complex. The retromer complex plays a primary role in sorting endosomal cargo back to the cell surface for reuse, to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), or alternatively to specialized endomembrane compartments, in which the cargo is not subjected to lysosomal-mediated degradation. In most cases, the retromer acts as a core that interacts with associated proteins, including sorting nexin family member 27 (SNX27), members of the vacuolar protein sorting 10 (VPS10) receptor family, the major endosomal actin polymerization-promoting complex known as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and scar homolog (WASH), and other proteins. Some of the molecules carried by the retromer complex are risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Defects such as haplo-insufficiency or mutations in one or several units of the retromer complex lead to various pathologies. Here, we summarize the molecular architecture of the retromer complex and the roles of this system in intracellular trafficking related the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26973516

  11. Genetic susceptibility testing for neurodegenerative diseases: Ethical and practice issues

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, J. Scott; Uhlmann, Wendy R.

    2013-01-01

    As the genetics of neurodegenerative disease become better understood, opportunities for genetic susceptibility testing for at-risk individuals will increase. Such testing raises important ethical and practice issues related to test access, informed consent, risk estimation and communication, return of results, and policies to prevent genetic discrimination. The advent of direct-to-consumer genetic susceptibility testing for various neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain prion diseases) means that ethical and practical challenges must be faced not only in traditional research and clinical settings, but also in broader society. This review addresses several topics relevant to the development and implementation of genetic susceptibility tests across research, clinical, and consumer settings; these include appropriate indications for testing, the implications of different methods for disclosing test results, clinical versus personal utility of risk information, psychological and behavioral responses to test results, testing of minors, genetic discrimination, and ethical dilemmas posed by whole-genome sequencing. We also identify future areas of likely growth in the field, including pharmacogenomics and genetic screening for individuals considering or engaged in activities that pose elevated risk of brain injury (e.g., football players, military personnel). APOE gene testing for risk of Alzheimer’s disease is used throughout as an instructive case example, drawing upon the authors’ experience as investigators in a series of multisite randomized clinical trials that have examined the impact of disclosing APOE genotype status to interested individuals (e.g., first-degree relatives, persons with mild cognitive impairment). PMID:23583530

  12. Revisiting Metal Toxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke: Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Joy; Vasquez, Velmarini; Hegde, Pavana M; Boldogh, Istvan; Mitra, Sankar; Kent, Thomas A; Rao, Kosagi S; Hegde, Muralidhar L

    2015-01-01

    Excessive accumulation of pro-oxidant metals, observed in affected brain regions, has consistently been implicated as a contributor to the brain pathology including neurodegenerative diseases and acute injuries such as stroke. Furthermore, the potential interactions between metal toxicity and other commonly associated etiological factors, such as misfolding/aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins or genomic damage, are poorly understood. Decades of research provide compelling evidence implicating metal overload in neurological diseases and stroke. However, the utility of metal toxicity as a therapeutic target is controversial, possibly due to a lack of comprehensive understanding of metal dyshomeostasis-mediated neuronal pathology. In this article, we discuss the current understanding of metal toxicity and the challenges associated with metal-targeted therapies. PMID:25717476

  13. Neurodegenerative diseases: quantitative predictions of protein-RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano

    2013-02-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction. PMID:23264567

  14. Neurodegenerative diseases: Quantitative predictions of protein–RNA interactions

    PubMed Central

    Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano

    2013-01-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction. PMID:23264567

  15. Stress, allostatic load, catecholamines, and other neurotransmitters in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, David S

    2012-07-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities,treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple,interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—"homeostats". Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. "Allostatic load" refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states).Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion,and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown,allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholaminesin the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions,environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542

  16. Stress, allostatic load, catecholamines, and other neurotransmitters in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, D S

    2011-04-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators-"homeostats." Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. "Allostatic load" refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic and that catecholamines from storage visicles leak into the cytoplasm continuously during life. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:21615193

  17. Stress, Allostatic Load, Catecholamines, and Other Neurotransmitters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542

  18. Apolipoprotein E: from cardiovascular disease to neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Mahley, Robert W

    2016-07-01

    Apolipoprotein (apo) E was initially described as a lipid transport protein and major ligand for low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors with a role in cholesterol metabolism and cardiovascular disease. It has since emerged as a major risk factor (causative gene) for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Detailed understanding of the structural features of the three isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4), which differ by only a single amino acid interchange, has elucidated their unique functions. ApoE2 and apoE4 increase the risk for heart disease: apoE2 increases atherogenic lipoprotein levels (it binds poorly to LDL receptors), and apoE4 increases LDL levels (it binds preferentially to triglyceride-rich, very low density lipoproteins, leading to downregulation of LDL receptors). ApoE4 also increases the risk for neurodegenerative diseases, decreases their age of onset, or alters their progression. ApoE4 likely causes neurodegeneration secondary to its abnormal structure, caused by an interaction between its carboxyl- and amino-terminal domains, called domain interaction. When neurons are stressed or injured, they synthesize apoE to redistribute cholesterol for neuronal repair or remodeling. However, because of its altered structure, neuronal apoE4 undergoes neuron-specific proteolysis, generating neurotoxic fragments (12-29 kDa) that escape the secretory pathway and cause mitochondrial dysfunction and cytoskeletal alterations, including tau phosphorylation. ApoE4-associated pathology can be prevented by small-molecule structure correctors that block domain interaction by converting apoE4 to a molecule that resembles apoE3 both structurally and functionally. Structure correctors are a potential therapeutic approach to reduce apoE4 pathology in both cardiovascular and neurological disorders. PMID:27277824

  19. Vitagenes, dietary antioxidants and neuroprotection in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Calabrese, Vittorio; Cornelius, Carolin; Mancuso, Cesare; Barone, Eugenio; Calafato, Stella; Bates, Timothy; Rizzarelli, Enrico; Kostova, Albena T Dinkova

    2009-01-01

    The ability of a cell to counteract stressful conditions, known as cellular stress response, requires the activation of pro-survival pathways and the production of molecules with anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic or pro-apoptotic activities. Among the cellular pathways conferring protection against oxidative stress, a key role is played by vitagenes, which include heat shock proteins (Hsps) heme oxygenase-1 and Hsp70, as well as the thioredoxin/thioredoxin reductase system. Heat shock response contributes to establish a cytoprotective state in a wide variety of human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Given the broad cytoprotective properties of the heat shock response there is now strong interest in discovering and developing pharmacological agents capable of inducing stress responses. Dietary antioxidants, such as curcumin, L-carnitine/acetyl-L-carnitine and carnosine have recently been demonstrated in vitro to be neuroprotective through the activation of hormetic pathways, including vitagenes. In the present review we discuss the importance of vitagenes in the cellular stress response and analyse, from a pharmacological point of view, the potential use of dietary antioxidants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders in humans. PMID:19273073

  20. Epigenetic Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Alzheimer and Parkinson Diseases.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Michael H; Moos, Walter H; Faller, Douglas V; Steliou, Kosta; Pinkert, Carl A

    2016-05-01

    Preclinical Research In this review, we discuss epigenetic-driven methods for treating neurodegenerative disorders associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, focusing on carnitinoid antioxidant-histone deacetylase inhibitors that show an ability to reinvigorate synaptic plasticity and protect against neuromotor decline in vivo. Aging remains a major risk factor in patients who progress to dementia, a clinical syndrome typified by decreased mental capacity, including impairments in memory, language skills, and executive function. Energy metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction are viewed as determinants in the aging process that may afford therapeutic targets for a host of disease conditions, the brain being primary in such thinking. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a core feature in the pathophysiology of both Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases and rare mitochondrial diseases. The potential of new therapies in this area extends to glaucoma and other ophthalmic disorders, migraine, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, systemic exertion intolerance disease, and chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment. An emerging and hopefully more promising approach to addressing these hard-to-treat diseases leverages their sensitivity to activation of master regulators of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes, antioxidant response elements, and mitophagy. Drug Dev Res 77 : 109-123, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26899010

  1. TAR DNA-binding protein 43 in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2010-01-01

    In 2006, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a highly conserved nuclear protein, was identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in the most common variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), FTLD-U, which is characterized by cytoplasmic inclusions that stain positive for ubiquitin but negative for tau and α-synuclein. Since then, rapid advances have been made in our understanding of the physiological function of TDP-43 and the role of this protein in neurodegeneration. These advances link ALS and FTLD-U (now designated FTLD-TDP) to a shared mechanism of disease. In this Review, we summarize the current evidence regarding the normal function of TDP-43 and the TDP-43 pathology observed in FTLD-TDP, ALS, and other neurodegenerative diseases wherein TDP-43 pathology co-occurs with other disease-specific lesions (for example, with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease). Moreover, we discuss the accumulating data that support our view that FTLD-TDP and ALS represent two ends of a spectrum of primary TDP-43 proteinopathies. Finally, we comment on the importance of recent advances in TDP-43-related research to neurological practice, including the new opportunities to develop better diagnostics and disease-modifying therapies for ALS, FTLD-TDP, and related disorders exhibiting TDP-43 pathology. PMID:20234357

  2. Natural Compounds Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases Through Autophagic Activation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhe; Adachi, Hiroaki

    2016-06-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are a group of intractable diseases that significantly affect human health. To date, the pathogenesis of NDDs is still poorly understood and effective disease-modifying therapies for NDDs have not been established. NDDs share the common morphological characteristic of the deposition of abnormal proteins in the nervous system, including neurons. Autophagy is one of the major processes by which damaged organelles and abnormal proteins are removed from cells. Impairment of autophagy has been found to be involved in the pathogenesis of NDDs, and the regulation of autophagy may become a therapeutic strategy for NDDs. In recent years, some active compounds from plants have been found to regulate autophagy and exert neuroprotection against NDDs, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, spinocerebellar ataxia 3, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, via activating autophagy. In this paper, we review recent advances in the use of active ingredients from plants for the regulation of autophagy and treatment of NDDs. PMID:27302727

  3. Strategies for molecular imaging dementia and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Schaller, Bernhard J

    2008-01-01

    Dementia represents a heterogeneous term that has evolved to describe the behavioral syndromes associated with a variety of clinical and neuropathological changes during continuing degenerative disease of the brain. As such, there lacks a clear consensus regarding the neuropsychological and other constituent characteristics associated with various cerebrovascular changes in this disease process. But increasing this knowledge has given more insights into memory deterioration in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other subtypes of dementia. The author reviews current knowledge of the physiological coupling between cerebral blood flow and metabolism in the light of state-of-the-art-imaging methods and its changes in dementia with special reference to Alzheimer’s disease. Different imaging techniques are discussed with respect to their visualizing effect of biochemical, cellular, and/or structural changes in dementia. The pathophysiology of dementia in advanced age is becoming increasingly understood by revealing the underlying basis of neuropsychological changes with current imaging techniques, genetic and pathological features, which suggests that alterations of (neuro) vascular regulatory mechanisms may lead to brain dysfunction and disease. The current view is that cerebrovascular deregulation is seen as a contributor to cerebrovascular pathologies, such as stroke, but also to neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The better understanding of these (patho) physiological mechanisms may open an approach to new interventional strategies in dementia to enhance neurovascular repair and to protect neurovascular coupling. PMID:18830391

  4. Neural Basis of Interpersonal Traits in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sollberger, Marc; Stanley, Christine M.; Wilson, Stephen M.; Gyurak, Anett; Beckman, Victoria; Growdon, Matthew; Jang, Jung; Weiner, Michael W.; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.

    2009-01-01

    Several functional and structural imaging studies have investigated the neural basis of personality in healthy adults, but human lesions studies are scarce. Personality changes are a common symptom in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and semantic dementia (SD), allowing a unique window into the neural basis of personality. In this study, we used the Interpersonal Adjective Scales to investigate the structural basis of eight interpersonal traits (dominance, arrogance, coldness, introversion, submissiveness, ingenuousness, warmth, and extraversion) in 257 subjects: 214 patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as FTD, SD, progressive non-fluent aphasia, Alzheimer’s disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy and 43 healthy elderly people. Measures of interpersonal traits were correlated with regional atrophy pattern using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of structural MR images. Interpersonal traits mapped onto distinct brain regions depending on the degree to which they involved agency and affiliation. Interpersonal traits high in agency related to left dorsolateral prefrontal and left lateral frontopolar regions, whereas interpersonal traits high in affiliation related to right ventromedial prefrontal and right anteromedial temporal regions. Consistent with the existing literature on neural networks underlying social cognition, these results indicate that brain regions related to externally-focused, executive control-related processes underlie agentic interpersonal traits such as dominance, whereas brain regions related to internally-focused, emotion- and reward-related processes underlie affiliative interpersonal traits such as warmth. In addition, these findings indicate that interpersonal traits are subserved by complex neural networks rather than discrete anatomic areas. PMID:19540253

  5. Extracellular vesicles and their synthetic analogues in aging and age-associated brain diseases

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J. A.; Leonardi, T.; Huang, B.; Iraci, N.; Vega, B.; Pluchino, S.

    2015-01-01

    Multicellular organisms rely upon diverse and complex intercellular communications networks for a myriad of physiological processes. Disruption of these processes is implicated in the onset and propagation of disease and disorder, including the mechanisms of senescence at both cellular and organismal levels. In recent years, secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as a particularly novel vector by which cell-to-cell communications are enacted. EVs actively and specifically traffic bioactive proteins, nucleic acids, and metabolites between cells at local and systemic levels, modulating cellular responses in a bidirectional manner under both homeostatic and pathological conditions. EVs are being implicated not only in the generic aging process, but also as vehicles of pathology in a number of age-related diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative and disease. Thus, circulating EVs—or specific EV cargoes—are being utilised as putative biomarkers of disease. On the other hand, EVs, as targeted intercellular shuttles of multipotent bioactive payloads, have demonstrated promising therapeutic properties, which can potentially be modulated and enhanced through cellular engineering. Furthermore, there is considerable interest in employing nanomedicinal approaches to mimic the putative therapeutic properties of EVs by employing synthetic analogues for targeted drug delivery. Herein we describe what is known about the origin and nature of EVs and subsequently review their putative roles in biology and medicine (including the use of synthetic EV analogues), with a particular focus on their role in aging and age-related brain diseases. PMID:24973266

  6. Differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases using structural MRI data

    PubMed Central

    Koikkalainen, Juha; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke; Tolonen, Antti; Barkhof, Frederik; Tijms, Betty; Lemstra, Afina W.; Tong, Tong; Guerrero, Ricardo; Schuh, Andreas; Ledig, Christian; Rueckert, Daniel; Soininen, Hilkka; Remes, Anne M.; Waldemar, Gunhild; Hasselbalch, Steen; Mecocci, Patrizia; van der Flier, Wiesje; Lötjönen, Jyrki

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative diseases can cause memory disorders and other cognitive impairments. The early detection and the stratification of patients according to the underlying disease are essential for an efficient approach to this healthcare challenge. This emphasizes the importance of differential diagnostics. Most studies compare patients and controls, or Alzheimer's disease with one other type of dementia. Such a bilateral comparison does not resemble clinical practice, where a clinician is faced with a number of different possible types of dementia. Here we studied which features in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans could best distinguish four types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and control subjects. We extracted an extensive set of features quantifying volumetric and morphometric characteristics from T1 images, and vascular characteristics from FLAIR images. Classification was performed using a multi-class classifier based on Disease State Index methodology. The classifier provided continuous probability indices for each disease to support clinical decision making. A dataset of 504 individuals was used for evaluation. The cross-validated classification accuracy was 70.6% and balanced accuracy was 69.1% for the five disease groups using only automatically determined MRI features. Vascular dementia patients could be detected with high sensitivity (96%) using features from FLAIR images. Controls (sensitivity 82%) and Alzheimer's disease patients (sensitivity 74%) could be accurately classified using T1-based features, whereas the most difficult group was the dementia with Lewy bodies (sensitivity 32%). These results were notable better than the classification accuracies obtained with visual MRI ratings (accuracy 44.6%, balanced accuracy 51.6%). Different quantification methods provided complementary information, and consequently, the best results were obtained by

  7. Differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases using structural MRI data.

    PubMed

    Koikkalainen, Juha; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke; Tolonen, Antti; Barkhof, Frederik; Tijms, Betty; Lemstra, Afina W; Tong, Tong; Guerrero, Ricardo; Schuh, Andreas; Ledig, Christian; Rueckert, Daniel; Soininen, Hilkka; Remes, Anne M; Waldemar, Gunhild; Hasselbalch, Steen; Mecocci, Patrizia; van der Flier, Wiesje; Lötjönen, Jyrki

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative diseases can cause memory disorders and other cognitive impairments. The early detection and the stratification of patients according to the underlying disease are essential for an efficient approach to this healthcare challenge. This emphasizes the importance of differential diagnostics. Most studies compare patients and controls, or Alzheimer's disease with one other type of dementia. Such a bilateral comparison does not resemble clinical practice, where a clinician is faced with a number of different possible types of dementia. Here we studied which features in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans could best distinguish four types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and control subjects. We extracted an extensive set of features quantifying volumetric and morphometric characteristics from T1 images, and vascular characteristics from FLAIR images. Classification was performed using a multi-class classifier based on Disease State Index methodology. The classifier provided continuous probability indices for each disease to support clinical decision making. A dataset of 504 individuals was used for evaluation. The cross-validated classification accuracy was 70.6% and balanced accuracy was 69.1% for the five disease groups using only automatically determined MRI features. Vascular dementia patients could be detected with high sensitivity (96%) using features from FLAIR images. Controls (sensitivity 82%) and Alzheimer's disease patients (sensitivity 74%) could be accurately classified using T1-based features, whereas the most difficult group was the dementia with Lewy bodies (sensitivity 32%). These results were notable better than the classification accuracies obtained with visual MRI ratings (accuracy 44.6%, balanced accuracy 51.6%). Different quantification methods provided complementary information, and consequently, the best results were obtained by

  8. Understanding complexity in neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstruction of emergence

    PubMed Central

    Kolodkin, Alexey; Simeonidis, Evangelos; Balling, Rudi; Westerhoff, Hans V.

    2012-01-01

    Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction) is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On the one hand, the biomolecular network of every individual is unique and this is evident when similar disease-producing agents cause different individual pathologies. Consequently, a personalized model and approach for every patient may be required for therapies to become effective across mankind. On the other hand, diverse combinations of internal and external perturbation factors may cause a similar shift in network functioning. We offer this as an explanation for the multi-factorial nature of most diseases: they are “systems biology diseases,” or “network diseases.” Here we use neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson's disease (PD), as an example to show that due to the inherent complexity of these networks, it is difficult to understand multi-factorial diseases with simply our “naked brain.” When describing interactions between biomolecules through mathematical equations and integrating those equations into a mathematical model, we try to reconstruct the emergent properties of the system in silico. The reconstruction of emergence from interactions between huge numbers of macromolecules is one of the aims of systems biology. Systems biology approaches enable us to break through the limitation of the human brain to perceive the extraordinarily large number of interactions, but this also means that we delegate the understanding of reality to the computer. We no longer recognize all those essences in the system's design crucial for important physiological behavior (the so-called “design principles” of the system). In this paper we review evidence that by using more abstract approaches and by experimenting in silico, one may still be able to discover and understand the design principles that

  9. The involvement of microRNAs in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Maciotta, Simona; Meregalli, Mirella; Torrente, Yvan

    2013-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) originate from a loss of neurons in the central nervous system and are severely debilitating. The incidence of NDDs increases with age, and they are expected to become more common due to extended life expectancy. Because no cure is available, these diseases have become a major challenge in neurobiology. The increasing relevance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in biology has prompted investigation into their possible involvement in neurodegeneration in order to identify new therapeutic targets. The idea of using miRNAs as therapeutic targets is not far from realization, but important issues need to be addressed before moving into the clinics. Here, we review what is known about the involvement of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of NDDs. We also report the miRNA expression levels in peripheral tissues of patients affected by NDDs in order to evaluate their application as biomarkers of disease. Finally, discrepancies, innovations, and the effectiveness of collected data will be elucidated and discussed. PMID:24391543

  10. Association between environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Parron, Tesifon; Requena, Mar; Hernandez, Antonio F.; Alarcon, Raquel

    2011-11-15

    Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative-psychiatric disorders. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts in high exposure areas. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Males from

  11. Molecular Pathological Classification of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Turning towards Precision Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Gabor G.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are characterized by selective dysfunction and loss of neurons associated with pathologically altered proteins that deposit in the human brain but also in peripheral organs. These proteins and their biochemical modifications can be potentially targeted for therapy or used as biomarkers. Despite a plethora of modifications demonstrated for different neurodegeneration-related proteins, such as amyloid-β, prion protein, tau, α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), or fused in sarcoma protein (FUS), molecular classification of NDDs relies on detailed morphological evaluation of protein deposits, their distribution in the brain, and their correlation to clinical symptoms together with specific genetic alterations. A further facet of the neuropathology-based classification is the fact that many protein deposits show a hierarchical involvement of brain regions. This has been shown for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and some forms of tauopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies. The present paper aims to summarize current molecular classification of NDDs, focusing on the most relevant biochemical and morphological aspects. Since the combination of proteinopathies is frequent, definition of novel clusters of patients with NDDs needs to be considered in the era of precision medicine. Optimally, neuropathological categorizing of NDDs should be translated into in vivo detectable biomarkers to support better prediction of prognosis and stratification of patients for therapy trials. PMID:26848654

  12. Molecular Pathological Classification of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Turning towards Precision Medicine.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Gabor G

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are characterized by selective dysfunction and loss of neurons associated with pathologically altered proteins that deposit in the human brain but also in peripheral organs. These proteins and their biochemical modifications can be potentially targeted for therapy or used as biomarkers. Despite a plethora of modifications demonstrated for different neurodegeneration-related proteins, such as amyloid-β, prion protein, tau, α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), or fused in sarcoma protein (FUS), molecular classification of NDDs relies on detailed morphological evaluation of protein deposits, their distribution in the brain, and their correlation to clinical symptoms together with specific genetic alterations. A further facet of the neuropathology-based classification is the fact that many protein deposits show a hierarchical involvement of brain regions. This has been shown for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and some forms of tauopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies. The present paper aims to summarize current molecular classification of NDDs, focusing on the most relevant biochemical and morphological aspects. Since the combination of proteinopathies is frequent, definition of novel clusters of patients with NDDs needs to be considered in the era of precision medicine. Optimally, neuropathological categorizing of NDDs should be translated into in vivo detectable biomarkers to support better prediction of prognosis and stratification of patients for therapy trials. PMID:26848654

  13. Elusive roles for reactive astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ben Haim, Lucile; Carrillo-de Sauvage, Maria-Angeles; Ceyzériat, Kelly; Escartin, Carole

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes play crucial roles in the brain and are involved in the neuroinflammatory response. They become reactive in response to virtually all pathological situations in the brain such as axotomy, ischemia, infection, and neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Astrocyte reactivity was originally characterized by morphological changes (hypertrophy, remodeling of processes) and the overexpression of the intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, it is unclear how the normal supportive functions of astrocytes are altered by their reactive state. In ND, in which neuronal dysfunction and astrocyte reactivity take place over several years or decades, the issue is even more complex and highly debated, with several conflicting reports published recently. In this review, we discuss studies addressing the contribution of reactive astrocytes to ND. We describe the molecular triggers leading to astrocyte reactivity during ND, examine how some key astrocyte functions may be enhanced or altered during the disease process, and discuss how astrocyte reactivity may globally affect ND progression. Finally we will consider the anticipated developments in this important field. With this review, we aim to show that the detailed study of reactive astrocytes may open new perspectives for ND. PMID:26283915

  14. [Effects of resveratrol-induced cellular autophagy in control of neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Dong, Wen; Wang, Rong

    2016-01-01

    Cellular autophagy is a major degradative pathway for clearance of aggregate-prone proteins and damaged organelles. It plays an important role in regulating cellular homeostasis, cell growth and development, and disease development. Dysfunctional autophagy contributes to the pathology of various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, in which specific pathological protein accumulation occurs. A growing body of evidence suggests that resveratrol plays a significantly role in the regulation of autophagy and clearance of pathological proteins. Resveratrol is a potential drug for neurodegenerative diseases therapy. This review focuses on the effects of resveratrol on cellular autophagy and clinical application in the control of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27405156

  15. The pathogenic role of the inflammasome in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Leslie C; Ting, Jenny P-Y

    2016-01-01

    The inflammasome is a large macromolecular complex that contains multiple copies of a receptor or sensor of pathogen-derived or damage-derived molecular patterns, pro-caspase-1, and an adaptor called ASC (apoptotic speck containing protein with a CARD), which results in caspase-1 maturation. Caspase-1 then mediates the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18. These cytokines play critical roles in mediating immune responses during inflammation and innate immunity. Broader studies of the inflammasome over the years have implicated their roles in the pathogenesis of a variety of inflammatory diseases. Recently, studies have shown that the inflammasome modulates neuroinflammatory cells and the initial stages of neuroinflammation. A secondary cascade of events associated with neuroinflammation (such as oxidative stress) has been shown to activate the inflammasome, making the inflammasome a promising therapeutic target in the modulation of neurodegenerative diseases. This review will focus on the pathogenic role that inflammasomes play in neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. We here review the role of the inflammasome in the pathogenesis of traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is initiated by physical force exerted to head, resulting in neuronal injury and death. Primary insult is followed by a secondary cascade of events following neuroinflammation such as mitochondrial dysfunction, production of reactive oxygen species, potassium effluxes, and release of circulating DNA. These events can potentially trigger the activation of NLRP3, NLRP1, and AIM2 during TBI but have yet to be confirmed (dashed lines). NLRP3, NLRP1, and AIM2 associate with the adaptor protein ASC, which initiates the cleavage of pro-caspase-1 to the mature form of caspase-1 which cleaves pro-IL-1β and pro-IL-18 into their mature forms of IL-1β and IL-18. PMID:26119245

  16. Alzheimer's Disease and Glaucoma: Imaging the Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Valenti, Denise A.

    2010-01-01

    Imaging through the visual system in Alzheimer's disease, with the technology currently in widespread use for the diagnosis and management of eye disease such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, is proving to be promising. In vivo cross-section imaging during an annual comprehensive eye exam has been available for a decade for glaucoma and macular degeneration, and this same imaging, using Optical Coherence Tomography, has been demonstrated to show deficits specific to AD and mild cognitive impairment. These deficits are in the form of nerve fiber layer tissue drop out in the retina and optic nerve. The retrograde loss of nerve fiber layer tissue in the retina and optic nerve may be an early biomarker of AD, and these deficits in the nerve fiber layer of the retina and optic nerve may be the earliest sign of AD, even prior to damage to the hippocampal region that impacts memory. PMID:21253485

  17. Oxidative Stress and Its Significant Roles in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Thanan, Raynoo; Oikawa, Shinji; Hiraku, Yusuke; Ohnishi, Shiho; Ma, Ning; Pinlaor, Somchai; Yongvanit, Puangrat; Kawanishi, Shosuke; Murata, Mariko

    2014-01-01

    Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have been implicated in diverse pathophysiological conditions, including inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative damage to biomolecules including lipids, proteins and DNA, contributes to these diseases. Previous studies suggest roles of lipid peroxidation and oxysterols in the development of neurodegenerative diseases and inflammation-related cancer. Our recent studies identifying and characterizing carbonylated proteins reveal oxidative damage to heat shock proteins in neurodegenerative disease models and inflammation-related cancer, suggesting dysfunction in their antioxidative properties. In neurodegenerative diseases, DNA damage may not only play a role in the induction of apoptosis, but also may inhibit cellular division via telomere shortening. Immunohistochemical analyses showed co-localization of oxidative/nitrative DNA lesions and stemness markers in the cells of inflammation-related cancers. Here, we review oxidative stress and its significant roles in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. PMID:25547488

  18. ADF/cofilin-actin rods in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bamburg, J.R.; Bernstein, B.W.; Davis, R.C.; Flynn, K.C.; Goldsbury, C.; Jensen, J.R.; Maloney, M.T.; Marsden, I.T.; Minamide, L.S.; Pak, C.W.; Shaw, A.E.; Whiteman, I.; Wiggan, O.

    2015-01-01

    Dephosphorylation (activation) of cofilin, an actin binding protein, is stimulated by initiators of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration including oxidative stress, excitotoxic glutamate, ischemia, and soluble forms of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Hyperactive cofilin forms rod-shaped cofilin-saturated actin filament bundles (rods). Other proteins are recruited to rods but are not necessary for rod formation. Neuronal cytoplasmic rods accumulate within neurites where they disrupt synaptic function and are a likely cause of synaptic loss without neuronal loss, as occurs early in dementias. Different rod-inducing stimuli target distinct neuronal populations within the hippocampus. Rods form rapidly, often in tandem arrays, in response to stress. They accumulate phosphorylated tau that immunostains for epitopes present in “striated neuropil threads,” characteristic of tau pathology in Alzheimer disease (AD) brain. Thus, rods might aid in further tau modifications or assembly into paired helical filaments, the major component of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Rods can occlude neurites and block vesicle transport. Some rod-inducing treatments cause an increase in secreted Aβ. Thus rods may mediate the loss of synapses, production of excess Aβ, and formation of NFTs, all of the pathological hallmarks of AD. Cofilin-actin rods also form within the nucleus of heat-shocked neurons and are cleared from cells expressing wild type huntingtin protein but not in cells expressing mutant or silenced huntingtin, suggesting a role for nuclear rods in Huntington disease (HD). As an early event in the neurodegenerative cascade, rod formation is an ideal target for therapeutic intervention that might be useful in treatment of many different neurological diseases. PMID:20088812

  19. Age-associated changes of brain copper, iron, and zinc in Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.

    PubMed

    Graham, Stewart F; Nasaruddin, Muhammad Bin; Carey, Manus; Holscher, Christian; McGuinness, Bernadette; Kehoe, Patrick G; Love, Seth; Passmore, Peter; Elliott, Christopher T; Meharg, Andrew A; Green, Brian D

    2014-01-01

    Disease-, age-, and gender-associated changes in brain copper, iron, and zinc were assessed in postmortem neocortical tissue (Brodmann area 7) from patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n = 14), severe AD (n = 28), dementia with Lewy bodies (n = 15), and normal age-matched control subjects (n = 26). Copper was lower (20%; p < 0.001) and iron higher (10-16%; p < 0.001) in severe AD compared with controls. Intriguingly significant Group*Age interactions were observed for both copper and iron, suggesting gradual age-associated decline of these metals in healthy non-cognitively impaired individuals. Zinc was unaffected in any disease pathologies and no age-associated changes were apparent. Age-associated changes in brain elements warrant further investigation. PMID:25024342

  20. Mapping Brain Metals to Evaluate Therapies for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Popescu, Bogdan Florin Gh; Nichol, Helen

    2013-01-01

    The brain is rich in metals and has a high metabolic rate, making it acutely vulnerable to the toxic effects of endogenously produced free radicals. The abundant metals, iron and copper, transfer single electrons as they cycle between their reduced (Fe2+, Cu1+) and oxidized (Fe3+, Cu2+) states making them powerful catalysts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Even redox inert zinc, if present in excess, can trigger ROS production indirectly by altering mitochondrial function. While metal chelators seem to improve the clinical outcome of several neurodegenerative diseases, their mechanisms of action remain obscure and the effects of long-term use are largely unknown. Most chelators are not specific to a single metal and could alter the distribution of multiple metals in the brain, leading to unexpected consequences over the long-term. We show here how X-ray fluorescence will be a valuable tool to examine the effect of chelators on the distribution and amount of metals in the brain. PMID:20553312

  1. PENN neurodegenerative disease research - in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin.

    PubMed

    Trojanowski, John Q

    2008-01-01

    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was entrepreneur, statesman, supporter of the public good as well as inventor, and his most significant invention was the University of Pennsylvania (PENN). Franklin outlined his plans for a college providing practical and classical instruction to prepare youth for real-world pursuits in his 'Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania' (1749), and Franklin's spirit of learning to serve society guides PENN to the present day. This is evidenced by the series of articles in this special issue of Neurosignals, describing research conducted by seasoned and newly recruited PENN faculty, addressing consequences of the longevity revolution which defines our epoch at the dawn of this millennium. While aging affects all organ systems, the nervous system is most critical to successful aging. Thus, the articles in this special issue of Neurosignals focus on research at PENN that is designed to prevent or ameliorate aging-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. This research could enhance our chances of aging successfully in the continuing longevity revolution, and the essay here provides context and background on this research. PMID:18097154

  2. NOX4 NADPH Oxidase-Dependent Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress in Aging-Associated Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Vendrov, Aleksandr E.; Vendrov, Kimberly C.; Smith, Alberto; Yuan, Jinling; Sumida, Arihiro; Robidoux, Jacques; Madamanchi, Nageswara R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Aims: Increased oxidative stress and vascular inflammation are implicated in increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence with age. We and others demonstrated that NOX1/2 NADPH oxidase inhibition, by genetic deletion of p47phox, in Apoe−/− mice decreases vascular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and atherosclerosis in young age. The present study examined whether NOX1/2 NADPH oxidases are also pivotal to aging-associated CVD. Results: Both aged (16 months) Apoe−/− and Apoe−/−/p47phox−/− mice had increased atherosclerotic lesion area, aortic stiffness, and systolic dysfunction compared with young (4 months) cohorts. Cellular and mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) levels were significantly higher in aortic wall and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from aged wild-type and p47phox−/− mice. VSMCs from aged mice had increased mitochondrial protein oxidation and dysfunction and increased vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression, which was abrogated with (2-(2,2,6,6-Tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl-4-ylamino)-2-oxoethyl)triphenylphosphonium chloride (MitoTEMPO) treatment. NOX4 expression was increased in the vasculature and mitochondria of aged mice and its suppression with shRNA in VSMCs from aged mice decreased mtROS levels and improved function. Increased mtROS levels were associated with enhanced mitochondrial NOX4 expression in aortic VSMCs from aged subjects, and NOX4 expression levels in arterial wall correlated with age and atherosclerotic severity. Aged Apoe−/− mice treated with MitoTEMPO and 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-4-methyl-5-(pyridin-2-ylmethyl)-1H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridine-3,6(2H,5H)-dione had decreased vascular ROS levels and atherosclerosis and preserved vascular and cardiac function. Innovation and Conclusion: These data suggest that NOX4, but not NOX1/2, and mitochondrial oxidative stress are mediators of CVD in aging under hyperlipidemic conditions. Regulating NOX4 activity/expression and using mitochondrial antioxidants are

  3. Flavonoid-Based Therapies in the Early Management of Neurodegenerative Diseases12

    PubMed Central

    Solanki, Isha; Parihar, Priyanka; Mansuri, Mohammad Lukman; Parihar, Mordhwaj S

    2015-01-01

    During the past several years, there has been enormous progress in the understanding of the causative factors that initiate neuronal damage in various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease. Preventing neuronal damage and neuronal death will have a huge clinical benefit. However, despite major advances in causative factors that trigger these neurodegenerative diseases, to date there have been no therapies available that benefit patients who suffer from these diseases. Because most neurodegenerative diseases are late-onset and remain asymptomatic for most of the phases, the therapies initiated in advanced stages of the disease have limited value to patients. It may be possible to prevent or halt the disease progression to a great extent if therapies start at the initial stage of the disease. Such therapies may restore neuronal function by reducing or even eliminating the primary stressor. Flavonoids are key compounds for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that are clinically effective in treating neurodegenerative diseases. Regular consumption of flavonoids has been associated with a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to their antioxidant properties, these polyphenolic compounds exhibit neuroprotective properties by their interaction with cellular signaling pathways followed by transcription and translation that mediate cell function under both normal and pathologic conditions. This review focuses on human intervention studies as well as animal studies on the role of various flavonoids in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25593144

  4. Flavonoid-based therapies in the early management of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Solanki, Isha; Parihar, Priyanka; Mansuri, Mohammad Lukman; Parihar, Mordhwaj S

    2015-01-01

    During the past several years, there has been enormous progress in the understanding of the causative factors that initiate neuronal damage in various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease. Preventing neuronal damage and neuronal death will have a huge clinical benefit. However, despite major advances in causative factors that trigger these neurodegenerative diseases, to date there have been no therapies available that benefit patients who suffer from these diseases. Because most neurodegenerative diseases are late-onset and remain asymptomatic for most of the phases, the therapies initiated in advanced stages of the disease have limited value to patients. It may be possible to prevent or halt the disease progression to a great extent if therapies start at the initial stage of the disease. Such therapies may restore neuronal function by reducing or even eliminating the primary stressor. Flavonoids are key compounds for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that are clinically effective in treating neurodegenerative diseases. Regular consumption of flavonoids has been associated with a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to their antioxidant properties, these polyphenolic compounds exhibit neuroprotective properties by their interaction with cellular signaling pathways followed by transcription and translation that mediate cell function under both normal and pathologic conditions. This review focuses on human intervention studies as well as animal studies on the role of various flavonoids in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25593144

  5. Neurodegenerative mutants in Drosophila: a means to identify genes and mechanisms involved in human diseases?

    PubMed

    Kretzschmar, Doris

    2005-11-01

    There are 50 ways to leave your lover (Simon 1987) but many more to kill your brain cells. Several neurodegenerative diseases in humans, like Alzheimer's disease, have been intensely studied but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are still unknown for most of them. For those syndromes where associated gene products have been identified their biochemistry and physiological as well as pathogenic function is often still under debate. This is in part due to the inherent limitations of genetic analyses in humans and other mammals and therefore experimentally accessible invertebrate in vivo models, such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, have recently been introduced to investigate neurodegenerative syndromes. Several laboratories have used transgenic approaches in Drosophila to study the human genes associated with neurodegenerative diseases. This has added substantially to our understanding of the mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases in humans. The isolation and characterization of Drosophila mutants, which display a variety of neurodegenerative phenotypes, also provide valuable insights into genes, pathways, and mechanisms causing neurodegeneration. So far only about two dozen such mutants have been described but already their characterization reveals an involvement of various cellular functions in neurodegeneration, ranging from preventing oxidative stress to RNA editing. Some of the isolated genes can already be associated with human neurodegenerative diseases and hopefully the isolation and characterization of more of these mutants, together with an analysis of homologous genes in vertebrate models, will provide insights into the genetic and molecular basis of human neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:16187075

  6. Role of Astroglial Hemichannels and Pannexons in Memory and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Orellana, Juan A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Stehberg, Jimmy

    2016-01-01

    Under physiological conditions, astroglial hemichannels and pannexons allow the release of gliotransmitters from astrocytes. These gliotransmitters are critical in modulating synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory. However, recent evidence suggests that under pathological conditions, they may be central in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review current literature on the role of astroglial hemichannels and pannexons in memory, stress and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and propose that they are not only crucial for normal brain function, including memory, but also a potential target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27489539

  7. The ubiquitin proteasome system in glia and its role in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Anne H. P.; Reits, Eric A. J.; Hol, Elly M.

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is crucial for intracellular protein homeostasis and for degradation of aberrant and damaged proteins. The accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease, leading to the hypothesis that proteasomal impairment is contributing to these diseases. So far, most research related to the UPS in neurodegenerative diseases has been focused on neurons, while glial cells have been largely disregarded in this respect. However, glial cells are essential for proper neuronal function and adopt a reactive phenotype in neurodegenerative diseases, thereby contributing to an inflammatory response. This process is called reactive gliosis, which in turn affects UPS function in glial cells. In many neurodegenerative diseases, mostly neurons show accumulation and aggregation of ubiquitinated proteins, suggesting that glial cells may be better equipped to maintain proper protein homeostasis. During an inflammatory reaction, the immunoproteasome is induced in glia, which may contribute to a more efficient degradation of disease-related proteins. Here we review the role of the UPS in glial cells in various neurodegenerative diseases, and we discuss how studying glial cell function might provide essential information in unraveling mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25152710

  8. Pathology of the Aging Brain in Domestic and Laboratory Animals, and Animal Models of Human Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Youssef, S A; Capucchio, M T; Rofina, J E; Chambers, J K; Uchida, K; Nakayama, H; Head, E

    2016-03-01

    According to the WHO, the proportion of people over 60 years is increasing and expected to reach 22% of total world's population in 2050. In parallel, recent animal demographic studies have shown that the life expectancy of pet dogs and cats is increasing. Brain aging is associated not only with molecular and morphological changes but also leads to different degrees of behavioral and cognitive dysfunction. Common age-related brain lesions in humans include brain atrophy, neuronal loss, amyloid plaques, cerebrovascular amyloid angiopathy, vascular mineralization, neurofibrillary tangles, meningeal osseous metaplasia, and accumulation of lipofuscin. In aging humans, the most common neurodegenerative disorder is Alzheimer's disease (AD), which progressively impairs cognition, behavior, and quality of life. Pathologic changes comparable to the lesions of AD are described in several other animal species, although their clinical significance and effect on cognitive function are poorly documented. This review describes the commonly reported age-associated neurologic lesions in domestic and laboratory animals and the relationship of these lesions to cognitive dysfunction. Also described are the comparative interspecies similarities and differences to AD and other human neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, and the spontaneous and transgenic animal models of these diseases. PMID:26869150

  9. Modulation of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases via activation of nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 by food-derived compounds.

    PubMed

    Denzer, Isabel; Münch, Gerald; Friedland, Kristina

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are early events in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mitochondria are important key players in cellular function based on mitochondrial energy production and their major role in cell physiology. Since neurons are highly depending on mitochondrial energy production due to their high energy demand and their reduced glycolytic capacity mitochondrial dysfunction has fatal consequences for neuronal function and survival. The transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is the major regulator of cellular response to oxidative stress. Activation of Nrf2 induces the transcriptional regulation of antioxidant response element (ARE)-dependent expression of a battery of cytoprotective and antioxidant enzymes and proteins. Moreover, activation of Nrf2 protects mitochondria from dysfunction and promotes mitochondrial biogenesis. Therefore, the Nrf2/ARE pathway has become an attractive target for the prevention and treatment of oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative diseases. Small food-derived inducers of the Nrf2/ARE pathway including l-sulforaphane from broccoli and isoliquiritigenin from licorice displayed promising protection of mitochondrial function in models of oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases and represent a novel approach to prevent and treat aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26626189

  10. MicroRNAs in Human Diseases: From Autoimmune Diseases to Skin, Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational repression of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that miRNAs play critical roles in several biologic processes, including cell cycle, differentiation, cell development, cell growth, and apoptosis and that miRNAs are highly expressed in regulatory T (Treg) cells and a wide range of miRNAs are involved in the regulation of immunity and in the prevention of autoimmunity. It has been increasingly reported that miRNAs are associated with various human diseases like autoimmune disease, skin disease, neurological disease and psychiatric disease. Recently, the identification of mi- RNAs in skin has added a new dimension in the regulatory network and attracted significant interest in this novel layer of gene regulation. Although miRNA research in the field of dermatology is still relatively new, miRNAs have been the subject of much dermatological interest in skin morphogenesis and in regulating angiogenesis. In addition, miRNAs are moving rapidly onto center stage as key regulators of neuronal development and function in addition to important contributions to neurodegenerative disorder. Moreover, there is now compelling evidence that dysregulation of miRNA networks is implicated in the development and onset of human neruodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, Down syndrome, depression and schizophrenia. In this review, I briefly summarize the current studies about the roles of miRNAs in various autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, psychoneurological disorders and mental stress. PMID:22194706

  11. Emotional and behavioral symptoms in neurodegenerative disease: A model for studying the neural bases of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Levenson, Robert W.; Sturm, Virginia E.; Haase, Claudia M.

    2014-01-01

    Disruptions in emotional, cognitive, and social behavior are common in neurodegenerative disease and many forms of psychopathology. Because neurodegenerative diseases have much clearer patterns of brain atrophy, they may provide a window into the neural bases of these common symptoms. We discuss five common symptoms that occur in both neurodegenerative disease and psychopathology (i.e., anxiety, dysphoric mood, apathy, disinhibition, and euphoric mood) and their associated neural circuitry. We focus on two neurodegenerative diseases (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia) that are common and well-characterized in terms of emotion, cognition, and social behavior and in patterns of associated neuropathology. Neurodegenerative diseases provide a powerful model system for studying the neural correlates of psychopathological symptoms; this is supported by evidence indicating convergence with psychiatric syndromes (e.g., symptoms of disinhibition associated with dysfunction in orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in both frontotemporal dementia and bipolar disorder). We conclude that neurodegenerative diseases can play an important role in future approaches to the assessment, prevention, and treatment of mental illness. PMID:24437433

  12. Exercise-induced neuroprotective effects on neurodegenerative diseases: the key role of trophic factors.

    PubMed

    Campos, Carlos; Rocha, Nuno Barbosa F; Lattari, Eduardo; Paes, Flávia; Nardi, António E; Machado, Sérgio

    2016-06-01

    Age-related neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, are becoming a major issue to public health care. Currently, there is no effective pharmacological treatment to address cognitive impairment in these patients. Here, we aim to explore the role of exercise-induced trophic factor enhancement in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. There is a significant amount of evidence from animal and human studies that links neurodegenerative related cognitive deficits with changes on brain and peripheral trophic factor levels. Several trials with elderly individuals and patients with neurodegenerative diseases report exercise induced cognitive improvements and changes on trophic factor levels including BDNF, IGF-I, among others. Further studies with healthy aging and clinical populations are needed to understand how diverse exercise interventions produce different variations in trophic factor signaling. Genetic profiles and potential confounders regarding trophic factors should also be addressed in future trials. PMID:27086703

  13. Neurodegenerative diseases: occupational occurrence and potential risk factors, 1982 through 1991.

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, P A; Burnett, C A; Boeniger, M F; Johnson, J

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To identify potential occupational risk factors, this study examined the occupational occurrence of various neurodegenerative diseases. METHODS: Death certificates from 27 states in the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance System were evaluated for 1982 to 1991. Proportionate mortality ratios were calculated by occupation for presenile dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and motor neuron disease. RESULTS: Excess mortality was observed for all four categories in the following occupational categories: teachers; medical personnel; machinists and machine operators; scientists; writers/designers/entertainers; and support and clerical workers. Clusters of three neurodegenerative diseases were also found in occupations involving pesticides, solvents, and electromagnetic fields and in legal, library, social, and religious work. Early death from motor neuron disease was found for firefighters, janitors, military personnel, teachers, excavation machine operators, and veterinarians, among others. CONCLUSIONS: Neurodegenerative disease occurs more frequently in some occupations than in others, and this distribution, which may indicate occupational risk factors, should be further investigated. PMID:8806381

  14. A Review of Quality of Life after Predictive Testing for and Earlier Identification of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Jane S.; Nance, Martha; Kim, Ji-In; Carlozzi, Noelle E.; Panegyres, Peter K.; Erwin, Cheryl; Goh, Anita; McCusker, Elizabeth; Williams, Janet K.

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed an explosion of evidence suggesting that many neurodegenerative diseases can be detected years, if not decades, earlier than previously thought. To date, these scientific advances have not provoked any parallel translational or clinical improvements. There is an urgency to capitalize on this momentum so earlier detection of disease can be more readily translated into improved health-related quality of life for families at risk for, or suffering with, neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we discuss health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measurement in neurodegenerative diseases and the importance of these “patient reported outcomes” for all clinical research. Next, we address HRQOL following early identification or predictive genetic testing in some neurodegenerative diseases: Huntington disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, prion diseases, hereditary ataxias, Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy and Wilson's disease. After a brief report of available direct-to-consumer genetic tests, we address the juxtaposition of earlier disease identification with assumed reluctance towards predictive genetic testing. Forty-one studies examining health related outcomes following predictive genetic testing for neurodegenerative disease suggested that (a) extreme or catastrophic outcomes are rare; (b) consequences commonly include transiently increased anxiety and/or depression; (c) most participants report no regret; (d) many persons report extensive benefits to receiving genetic information; and (e) stigmatization and discrimination for genetic diseases are poorly understood and policy and laws are needed. Caution is appropriate for earlier identification of neurodegenerative diseases but findings suggest further progress is safe, feasible and likely to advance clinical care. PMID:24036231

  15. There's Something Wrong with my MAM; the ER–Mitochondria Axis and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Paillusson, Sebastien; Stoica, Radu; Gomez-Suaga, Patricia; Lau, Dawn H.W.; Mueller, Sarah; Miller, Tanya; Miller, Christopher C.J.

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with associated frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) are major neurodegenerative diseases for which there are no cures. All are characterised by damage to several seemingly disparate cellular processes. The broad nature of this damage makes understanding pathogenic mechanisms and devising new treatments difficult. Can the different damaged functions be linked together in a common disease pathway and which damaged function should be targeted for therapy? Many functions damaged in neurodegenerative diseases are regulated by communications that mitochondria make with a specialised region of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER; mitochondria-associated ER membranes or ‘MAM’). Moreover, several recent studies have shown that disturbances to ER–mitochondria contacts occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review these findings. PMID:26899735

  16. Aging, Neurodegenerative Disease, and Traumatic Brain Injury: The Role of Neuroimaging

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a highly prevalent condition with significant effects on cognition and behavior. While the acute and sub-acute effects of TBI recover over time, relatively little is known about the long-term effects of TBI in relation to neurodegenerative disease. This issue has recently garnered a great deal of attention due to publicity surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional athletes, although CTE is but one of several neurodegenerative disorders associated with a history of TBI. Here, we review the literative on neurodegenerative disorders linked to remote TBI. We also review the evidence for neuroimaging changes associated with unhealthy brain aging in the context of remote TBI. We conclude that neuroimaging biomarkers have significant potential to increase understanding of the mechanisms of unhealthy brain aging and neurodegeneration following TBI, with potential for identifying those at risk for unhealthy brain aging prior to the clinical manifestation of neurodegenerative disease. PMID:25192426

  17. Catastrophic cliffs: a partial suggestion for selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hardy, John

    2016-04-15

    For each of the neurodegenerative syndromes, we now know many pathogenic and/or causative genetic risk loci. Here, I suggest that this wealth of knowledge now allows us to start to understand what are the specific vulnerabilities of different neuronal types and to suggest that each neuronal type is closer to different modes of catastrophic failure. I suggest that this is part of the basis for selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27068985

  18. Nanoparticles and Colloids as Contributing Factors in Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bondy, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    This review explores the processes underlying the deleterious effects of the presence of insoluble or colloidal depositions within the central nervous system. These materials are chemically unreactive and can have a prolonged residence in the brain. They can be composed of mineral or proteinaceous materials of intrinsic or exogenous origin. Such nanoparticulates and colloids are associated with a range of slow-progressing neurodegenerative states. The potential common basis of toxicity of these materials is discussed. A shared feature of these disorders involves the appearance of deleterious inflammatory changes in the CNS. This may be due to extended and ineffective immune responses. Another aspect is the presence of excess levels of reactive oxygen species within the brain. In addition with their induction by inflammatory events, these may be further heightened by the presence of redox active transition metals to the large surface area afforded by nanoparticles and amphipathic micelles. PMID:21776226

  19. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Early Prevention of Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Disease: A Focus on Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, J.; Thomas, C. J.; Radcliffe, J.; Itsiopoulos, C.

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. Furthermore, AD has provided the most positive indication to support the fact that inflammation contributes to neurodegenerative disease. The exact etiology of AD is unknown, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to contribute, such as advancing age, family history, presence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, and poor diet and lifestyle. It is hypothesised that early prevention or management of inflammation could delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of AD. Normal physiological changes to the brain with ageing include depletion of long chain omega-3 fatty acids and brains of AD patients have lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels. DHA supplementation can reduce markers of inflammation. This review specifically focusses on the evidence in humans from epidemiological, dietary intervention, and supplementation studies, which supports the role of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in AD in its early stages. Longer term trials with long chain omega-3 supplementation in early stage AD are warranted. We also highlight the importance of overall quality and composition of the diet to protect against AD and dementia. PMID:26301243

  20. The Nrf2-ARE pathway: a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Gururaj; Johnson, Jeffrey A.

    2013-01-01

    Modulation of NF-E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) has been shown in several neurodegenerative disorders. The overexpression of Nrf2 has become a potential therapeutic avenue for various neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. The expression of phase II detoxification enzymes is governed by the cis-acting regulatory element known as antioxidant response element (ARE). The transcription factor Nrf2 binds to ARE thereby transcribing multitude of antioxidant genes. Keap1, a culin 3-based E3 ligase that targets Nrf2 for degradation, sequesters Nrf2 in cytoplasm. Disruption of Keap1-Nrf2 interaction or genetic overexpression of Nrf2 can increase the endogenous antioxidant capacity of the brain thereby rendering protection against oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders. This review primarily focuses on targeted Nrf2 overexpression as a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:22742419

  1. Neurodegenerative Models in Drosophila: Polyglutamine Disorders, Parkinson Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Ambegaokar, Surendra S.; Roy, Bidisha; Jackson, George R.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases encompass a large group of neurological disorders. Clinical symptoms can include memory loss, cognitive impairment, loss of movement or loss of control of movement, and loss of sensation. Symptoms are typically adult onset (although severe cases can occur in adolescents) and are reflective of neuronal and glial cell loss in the central nervous system. Neurodegenerative diseases also are considered progressive, with increased severity of symptoms over time, also reflective of increased neuronal cell death. However, various neurodegenerative diseases differentially affect certain brain regions or neuronal or glial cell types. As an example, Alzheimer disease (AD) primarily affects the temporal lobe, whereas neuronal loss in Parkinson disease (PD) is largely (although not exclusively) confined to the nigrostriatal system. Neuronal loss is almost invariably accompanied by abnormal insoluble aggregates, either intra- or extracellular. Thus, neurodegenerative diseases are categorized by (a) the composite of clinical symptoms, (b) the brain regions or types of brain cells primarily affected, and (c) the types of protein aggregates found in the brain. Here we review the methods by which Drosophila melanogaster has been used to model aspects of polyglutamine diseases, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and key insights into that have been gained from these models; Alzheimer disease and the tauopathies are covered elsewhere in this special issue. PMID:20561920

  2. Role and Treatment of Mitochondrial DNA-Related Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Sporadic Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Swerdlow, Russell H.

    2012-01-01

    Several sporadic neurodegenerative diseases display phenomena that directly or indirectly relate to mitochondrial function. Data suggesting altered mitochondrial function in these diseases could arise from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are reviewed. Approaches for manipulating mitochondrial function and minimizing the downstream consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction are discussed. PMID:21902672

  3. Functional Genomics Approach for Identification of Molecular Processes Underlying Neurodegenerative Disorders in Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Urmila; Guan, Le Luo; Moore, Stephen S

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are infectious neurodegenerative disorders leading to death. These include Cresutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), familial, sporadic and variant CJD and kuru in humans; and animal TSEs include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) of mule deer and elk, and transmissible mink encephalopathy. All these TSEs share common pathological features such as accumulation of mis-folded prion proteins in the central nervous system leading to cellular dysfunction and cell death. It is important to characterize the molecular pathways and events leading to prion induced neurodegeneration. Here we discuss the impact of the functional genomics approaches including microarrays, subtractive hybridization and microRNA profiling in elucidating transcriptional cascades at different stages of disease. Many of these transcriptional changes have been observed in multiple neurodegenerative diseases which may aid in identification of biomarkers for disease. A comprehensive characterization of expression profiles implicated in neurodegenerative disorders will undoubtedly advance our understanding on neuropathology and dysfunction during prion disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. We also present an outlook on the future work which may focus on analysis of structural genetic variation, genome and transcriptome sequencing using next generation sequencing with an integrated approach on animal and human TSE related studies. PMID:23372423

  4. Friends or Foes: Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Multifaceted Roles in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Brkic, Marjana; Balusu, Sriram; Libert, Claude; Vandenbroucke, Roosmarijn E.

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is a chronic progressive loss of neuronal cells leading to deterioration of central nervous system (CNS) functionality. It has been shown that neuroinflammation precedes neurodegeneration in various neurodegenerative diseases. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a protein family of zinc-containing endopeptidases, are essential in (neuro)inflammation and might be involved in neurodegeneration. Although MMPs are indispensable for physiological development and functioning of the organism, they are often referred to as double-edged swords due to their ability to also inflict substantial damage in various pathological conditions. MMP activity is strictly controlled, and its dysregulation leads to a variety of pathologies. Investigation of their potential use as therapeutic targets requires a better understanding of their contributions to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review MMPs and their roles in neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease (HD), and multiple sclerosis (MS). We also discuss MMP inhibition as a possible therapeutic strategy to treat neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26538832

  5. Tocopherol (vitamin E) in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Berman, Karen; Brodaty, Henry

    2004-01-01

    In this article, we review the evidence that tocopherol (vitamin E) may have a role to play in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological diseases. The theoretical rationale for the effectiveness of tocopherol as treatment and/or prevention of Alzheimer's disease is based on its antioxidant properties. Results from animal and in vitro studies provide evidence to support use of tocopherol for prevention and treatment of degenerative neurological diseases. Furthermore, several, but not all, epidemiological, cross-sectional, prospective studies indicate that tocopherol may have protective effects in Alzheimer's disease, although dietary and supplemental forms of the vitamin may differ in their efficacy. Mixed results have been obtained from clinical trials. Evidence of the use of tocopherol as a protective measure or as therapy in neurological diseases other than Alzheimer's disease is less compelling. To date, there are no clear-cut answers as to whether tocopherol is worth prescribing, but current clinical practice favours its use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:15377170

  6. Filamentous nerve cell inclusions in neurodegenerative diseases: tauopathies and alpha-synucleinopathies.

    PubMed Central

    Goedert, M

    1999-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are the most common neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by the degeneration of selected populations of nerve cells that develop filamentous inclusions before degeneration. The neuronal inclusions of Alzheimer's disease are made of the microtubule-associated protein tau, in a hyperphosphorylated state. Recent work has shown that the filamentous inclusions of Parkinson's disease are made of the protein alpha-synuclein and that rare, familial forms of Parkinson's disease are caused by missense mutations in the alpha-synuclein gene. Besides Parkinson's disease, the filamentous inclusions of two additional neurodegenerative diseases, namely dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy, have also been found to be made of alpha-synuclein. Abundant filamentous tau inclusions are not limited to Alzheimer's disease. They are the defining neuropathological characteristic of frontotemporal dementias such as Pick's disease, and of progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. The recent discovery of mutations in the tau gene in familial forms of frontotemporal dementia has provided a direct link between tau dysfunction and dementing disease. The new work has established that tauopathies and alpha-synucleinopathies account for most late-onset neurodegenerative diseases in man. The formation of intracellular filamentous inclusions might be the gain of toxic function that leads to the demise of affected brain cells. PMID:10434313

  7. Can neurodegenerative disease be defined by four 'primary determinants': anatomy, cells, molecules, and morphology?

    PubMed

    Armstrong, R A

    2016-01-01

    Traditional methods of describing and classifying neurodegenerative disease are based on the clinico-pathological concept supported by molecular pathological studies and defined by 'consensus criteria'. Disease heterogeneity, overlap between disorders, and the presence of multiple co-pathologies, however, have questioned the validity and status of many traditional disorders. If cases of neurodegenerative disease are not easily classifiable into distinct entities, but more continuously distributed, then a new descriptive framework may be required. This review proposes that there are four key neuropathological features of neurodegenerative disease (the 'primary determinants') that could be used to provide such a framework, viz., the anatomical pathways affected by the disease ('anatomy'), the cell populations affected ('cells'), the molecular pathology of 'signature' pathological lesions ('molecules'), and the morphological types of neurodegeneration ('morphology'). This review first discusses the limitations of existing classificatory systems and second provides evidence that the four primary determinants could be used as axes to define all cases of neurodegenerative disease. To illustrate the methodology, the primary determinants were applied to the study of a group of closely related tauopathy cases and to heterogeneity within frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP). PMID:27543767

  8. Drug discovery of neurodegenerative disease through network pharmacology approach in herbs.

    PubMed

    Ke, Zhipeng; Zhang, Xinzhuang; Cao, Zeyu; Ding, Yue; Li, Na; Cao, Liang; Wang, Tuanjie; Zhang, Chenfeng; Ding, Gang; Wang, Zhenzhong; Xu, Xiaojie; Xiao, Wei

    2016-03-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, referring to as the progressive loss of structure and function of neurons, constitute one of the major challenges of modern medicine. Traditional Chinese herbs have been used as a major preventive and therapeutic strategy against disease for thousands years. The numerous species of medicinal herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) compound formulas in nervous system disease therapy make it a large chemical resource library for drug discovery. In this work, we collected 7362 kinds of herbs and 58,147 Traditional Chinese medicinal compounds (Tcmcs). The predicted active compounds in herbs have good oral bioavailability and central nervous system (CNS) permeability. The molecular docking and network analysis were employed to analyze the effects of herbs on neurodegenerative diseases. In order to evaluate the predicted efficacy of herbs, automated text mining was utilized to exhaustively search in PubMed by some related keywords. After that, receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves was used to estimate the accuracy of predictions. Our study suggested that most herbs were distributed in family of Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae and Apocynaceae. The predictive model yielded good sensitivity and specificity with the AUC values above 0.800. At last, 504 kinds of herbs were obtained by using the optimal cutoff values in ROC curves. These 504 herbs would be the most potential herb resources for neurodegenerative diseases treatment. This study would give us an opportunity to use these herbs as a chemical resource library for drug discovery of anti-neurodegenerative disease. PMID:26898452

  9. Pathophysiological Role of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Brain diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and addiction lead to reduced quality of daily life through abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotional states, and behavior. While the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, human and animal studies have supported a role of neuroinflammation in the etiology of these diseases. In the central nervous system, an increased inflammatory response is capable of activating microglial cells, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. In turn, the pro-inflammatory cytokines aggravate and propagate neuroinflammation, degenerating healthy neurons and impairing brain functions. Therefore, activated microglia may play a key role in neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders and neurodegeneration. PMID:27230456

  10. Pathophysiological Role of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Psychiatric Disorders.

    PubMed

    Hong, Heeok; Kim, Byung Sun; Im, Heh-In

    2016-05-01

    Brain diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and addiction lead to reduced quality of daily life through abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotional states, and behavior. While the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, human and animal studies have supported a role of neuroinflammation in the etiology of these diseases. In the central nervous system, an increased inflammatory response is capable of activating microglial cells, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. In turn, the pro-inflammatory cytokines aggravate and propagate neuroinflammation, degenerating healthy neurons and impairing brain functions. Therefore, activated microglia may play a key role in neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders and neurodegeneration. PMID:27230456

  11. Target- and mechanism-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases: strength in numbers.

    PubMed

    Trippier, Paul C; Jansen Labby, Kristin; Hawker, Dustin D; Mataka, Jan J; Silverman, Richard B

    2013-04-25

    The development of new therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathophysiologies currently stands at a crossroads. This presents an opportunity to transition future drug discovery efforts to target disease modification, an area in which much still remains unknown. In this Perspective we examine recent progress in the areas of neurodegenerative drug discovery, focusing on some of the most common targets and mechanisms: N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors, voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species, and protein aggregation. These represent the key players identified in neurodegeneration and are part of a complex, intertwined signaling cascade. The synergistic delivery of two or more compounds directed against these targets, along with the design of small molecules with multiple modes of action, should be explored in pursuit of more effective clinical treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23458846

  12. Target- and Mechanism-Based Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Strength in Numbers

    PubMed Central

    Trippier, Paul C.; Labby, Kristin Jansen; Hawker, Dustin D.; Mataka, Jan J.; Silverman, Richard B.

    2013-01-01

    The development of new therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathophysiologies currently stands at a crossroads. This presents an opportunity to transition future drug discovery efforts to target disease modification, an area in which much still remains unknown. In this Perspective we examine recent progress in the areas of neurodegenerative drug discovery, focusing on some of the most common targets and mechanisms; N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors, voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species, and protein aggregation. These represent the key players identified in neurodegeneration and are part of a complex, intertwined signaling cascade. The synergistic delivery of two or more compounds directed against these targets, along with the design of small molecules with multiple modes of action should be explored in pursuit of more effective clinical treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23458846

  13. Lactic acid elevation in extramitochondrial childhood neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kang, P B; Hunter, J V; Kaye, E M

    2001-09-01

    We report three children, each of whom seemed to have a primary mitochondrial disorder at presentation but was eventually diagnosed with an extramitochondrial inherited metabolic disease. The first patient presented at 6 months with developmental delay. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an abnormal signal in the white matter, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed elevated lactate peaks. A muscle biopsy showed complex IV deficiency, but leukocyte measurement of galactosylceramide beta-galactosidase activity was markedly diminished, consistent with Krabbe's disease. The second patient presented at birth with seizures and later had developmental delays. There was brain atrophy on neuroimaging. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid lactate levels were elevated. She had persistently elevated urine thiosulfate, which was diagnostic for molybdenum cofactor deficiency. The third child presented at 2 months with seizures and hypotonia. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an abnormal signal in the basal ganglia and surrounding white matter, whereas magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed elevated lactate peaks. A brain biopsy was diagnostic for Alexander's disease. These cases and others in the literature suggest that lactic acid elevation in the central nervous system can be found in a number of extramitochondrial neurologic diseases. Such diseases would constitute a third category of lactic acidosis. PMID:11575606

  14. Cytoplasmic Inclusions of TDP-43 in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Potential Role for Caspases

    PubMed Central

    Rohn, Troy T.

    2009-01-01

    TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies are classified based upon the extent of modified TDP-43 inclusions and include a growing number of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin immunoreactive, tau negative inclusions (FTLD-U) and FTLD with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND). In addition, TDP-43 inclusions have also been identified in a number of other neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, corticobasal degeneration, Lewy body related diseases and Pick's disease. Current understanding suggests that in these diseases, TDP-43 is relocated from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and sequestered into inclusions that contain modified TDP-43. Major modifications of TDP-43 have been identified as being hyperphosphorylation and proteolytic cleavage by caspases. In this review a summary of the major findings regarding the proteolytic modification of TDP-43 will be discussed as well as potential toxic-gain mechanisms these fragments may cause including cytoskeletal disruptions. PMID:19554515

  15. Stem cells and neurodegenerative diseases: where is it all going?

    PubMed

    Barker, Roger A

    2012-11-01

    Over the last few years there have been a number of major breakthroughs in the development of stem cells for diseases of the CNS. One of these has been in the ability to reprogram adult somatic cells to a more pluripotent state as well as directly to neurons and, by so doing, use patient-derived cells to study disease. In addition, the capacity to engineer embryonic stem cells to defined neuronal fates in the absence of proliferative contaminant cells is now feasible, which opens up the possibility of using these cells for cell transplantation. In this review, we will discuss how these developments have come about, particularly in the context of Parkinson's disease, and what this means for the future of this whole field over the next few years. PMID:23210808

  16. Viral Vector-Based Modeling of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Fischer, D Luke; Gombash, Sara E; Kemp, Christopher J; Manfredsson, Fredric P; Polinski, Nicole K; Duffy, Megan F; Sortwell, Caryl E

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy methods are increasingly used to model Parkinson's disease (PD) in animals in an effort to test experimental therapeutics within a more relevant context to disease pathophysiology and neuropathology. We have detailed several criteria that are critical or advantageous to accurately modeling PD in a murine model or in a nonhuman primate. Using these criteria, we then evaluate approaches made to model PD using viral vectors to date, including both adeno-associated viruses and lentiviruses. Lastly, we comment on the consideration of aging as a critical factor for modeling PD. PMID:26611600

  17. Redox chemistry of green tea polyphenols: therapeutic benefits in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hügel, H M; Jackson, N

    2012-05-01

    Evidence for the medicinal and health benefits of polyphenols in green tea for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, various types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases is advancing. Their in vivo effectiveness and molecular mechanisms are difficult to elucidate and remain a challenging task. We review the redox responsiveness and amyloid protein perturbation biophysical properties of the major green tea polyphenol constituent (-)- epigallocatechin-3-gallate [EGCG]. PMID:22303970

  18. Central nervous system endothelium in neuroinflammatory, neuroinfectious, and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Andjelkovic, A V; Pachter, J S

    1998-02-15

    Accumulating evidence points toward a significant role for the microvascular endothelium in the pathogenesis of several neurologic conditions. This review highlights those biochemical, anatomical, and physiological features of the endothelium thought to be dysfunctional in these disease states, and elaborates on novel treatment modalities that target the endothelium. PMID:9514196

  19. Menkes Kinky Hair Syndrome: A Rare Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gandhi, Rozil; Kakkar, Ritu; Rajan, Sajeev; Bhangale, Rashmi; Desai, Shrinivas

    2012-01-01

    Menkes kinky hair disease is a rare X-linked recessive disease nearly exclusively affecting males who present at 2-3 months of age due to abnormal functioning of copper-dependent enzymes due to deficiency of copper. Here, we describe a completely worked-up case of a 4-month-old male infant with very typical history and radiological features confirmed by biochemical and trichoanalysis. The initially seen asymmetric cortical and subcortical T2 hyperintensities in cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres converted into symmetrical diffuse cerebral and predominantly cerebellar atrophy with uniform loss of both white and grey matter on follow-up MRI. Also, subdural hemorrhages of various sizes and different stages and tortuosity of larger proximal intracranial vessels with distal narrowing were identified. Ours is a completely worked-up proven case of Menkes kinky hair disease (MKHD) with history, electroencephalography, biochemical, trichoanalysis, and MRI findings. This is a good teaching case and shows importance of clinical examination and biochemistry as complimentary to MRI. Tortuous intracranial arteries with blocked major vessels are found only in this disease, thus stressing the value of MR Angiography in these patients. PMID:22919529

  20. A Comparative Survey of the Topographical Distribution of Signature Molecular Lesions in Major Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Steven E.; Toledo, Jon B.; Appleby, Dina H.; Xie, Sharon X.; Wang, Li-San; Baek, Young; Wolk, David A.; Lee, Edward B.; Miller, Bruce L.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the anatomic distributions of major neurodegenerative disease lesions is important to appreciate the differential clinical profiles of these disorders and to serve as neuropathological standards for emerging molecular neuroimaging methods. To address these issues, here we present a comparative survey of the topographical distribution of the defining molecular neuropathological lesions among ten neurodegenerative diseases from a large and uniformly assessed brain collection. Ratings of pathological severity in sixteen brain regions from 671 cases with diverse neurodegenerative diseases were summarized and analyzed. These included: a) amyloid-β and tau lesions in Alzheimer’s disease, b) tau lesions in three other tauopathies including Pick’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration, c) α-synuclein inclusion ratings in four synucleinopathies including Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s disease with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy, and d) TDP-43 lesions in two TDP-43 proteinopathies, including frontotemporal lobar degeneration associated with TDP-43 and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The data presented graphically and topographically confirm and extend previous pathological anatomic descriptions and statistical comparisons highlight the lesion distributions that either overlap or distinguish the diseases in each molecular disease category. PMID:23881776

  1. An Effective Method to Identify Shared Pathways and Common Factors among Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ping; Nie, Yaling; Yu, Jingkai

    2015-01-01

    Groups of distinct but related diseases often share common symptoms, which suggest likely overlaps in underlying pathogenic mechanisms. Identifying the shared pathways and common factors among those disorders can be expected to deepen our understanding for them and help designing new treatment strategies effected on those diseases. Neurodegeneration diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD), were taken as a case study in this research. Reported susceptibility genes for AD, PD and HD were collected and human protein-protein interaction network (hPPIN) was used to identify biological pathways related to neurodegeneration. 81 KEGG pathways were found to be correlated with neurodegenerative disorders. 36 out of the 81 are human disease pathways, and the remaining ones are involved in miscellaneous human functional pathways. Cancers and infectious diseases are two major subclasses within the disease group. Apoptosis is one of the most significant functional pathways. Most of those pathways found here are actually consistent with prior knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases except two cell communication pathways: adherens and tight junctions. Gene expression analysis showed a high probability that the two pathways were related to neurodegenerative diseases. A combination of common susceptibility genes and hPPIN is an effective method to study shared pathways involved in a group of closely related disorders. Common modules, which might play a bridging role in linking neurodegenerative disorders and the enriched pathways, were identified by clustering analysis. The identified shared pathways and common modules can be expected to yield clues for effective target discovery efforts on neurodegeneration. PMID:26575483

  2. Caloric restriction and the precision-control of autophagy: A strategy for delaying neurodegenerative disease progression.

    PubMed

    Ntsapi, C; Loos, B

    2016-10-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is known to extend lifespan in most organisms, indicating that nutrient and energy regulatory mechanisms impact aging. The greatest risk factor for neurodegeneration is age; thus, the antiaging effects of CR might attenuate progressive cell death and avert the aggregation of abnormal proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. CR is a potent inducer of autophagy, a tightly regulated intracellular process that facilitates recycling of abnormal protein aggregates and damaged organelles into bioenergetic and biosynthetic materials to maintain homeostasis. Thus, dysregulated autophagy can lead to cellular dysfunction, abnormal protein accumulation, proteotoxicity and subsequently the onset of several neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, the targeted and precision-controlled activation of autophagy represents a promising therapeutic strategy. Non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions that delay aging by modulating specific stages of autophagy might be beneficial against premature aging, neurodegeneration and its associated ailments. However, the dynamic and often compensatory cross-talk that exists between the protein degradation pathways makes clinical translational approaches challenging. Here we review the primary autophagy pathways in the context of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on compensatory mechanisms and pathway failure. By critically assessing each underlying molecular machinery, we reveal their impact on aging and unmask the role of caloric restriction in changing cellular fate by delayed aging through stimulation of autophagy. This may point towards novel and better targeted interventions that exploit the autophagic machinery in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27473756

  3. Proactive Strategies for Managing the Behavior of Children with Neurodegenerative Diseases and Visual Impairment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loftin, M. M.; Koehler, W. S.

    1998-01-01

    Presents proactive strategies to help educators deal with challenging behaviors of children with visual impairments and neurodegenerative diseases. Strategies are provided for general noncompliance, difficulty with changed or novel routines, difficulty maintaining physical movement, significant variations in affect, and intense tantrums and other…

  4. A chaperome subnetwork safeguards proteostasis in aging and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Brehme, Marc; Voisine, Cindy; Rolland, Thomas; Wachi, Shinichiro; Soper, James H; Zhu, Yitan; Orton, Kai; Villella, Adriana; Garza, Dan; Vidal, Marc; Ge, Hui; Morimoto, Richard I

    2014-11-01

    Chaperones are central to the proteostasis network (PN) and safeguard the proteome from misfolding, aggregation, and proteotoxicity. We categorized the human chaperome of 332 genes into network communities using function, localization, interactome, and expression data sets. During human brain aging, expression of 32% of the chaperome, corresponding to ATP-dependent chaperone machines, is repressed, whereas 19.5%, corresponding to ATP-independent chaperones and co-chaperones, are induced. These repression and induction clusters are enhanced in the brains of those with Alzheimer's, Huntington's, or Parkinson's disease. Functional properties of the chaperome were assessed by perturbation in C. elegans and human cell models expressing Aβ, polyglutamine, and Huntingtin. Of 219 C. elegans orthologs, knockdown of 16 enhanced both Aβ and polyQ-associated toxicity. These correspond to 28 human orthologs, of which 52% and 41% are repressed, respectively, in brain aging and disease and 37.5% affected Huntingtin aggregation in human cells. These results identify a critical chaperome subnetwork that functions in aging and disease. PMID:25437566

  5. Content analysis of neurodegenerative and mental diseases social groups.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Pérez, Borja; de la Torre-Díez, Isabel; Bargiela-Flórez, Beatriz; López-Coronado, Miguel; Rodrigues, Joel J P C

    2015-12-01

    This article aims to characterize the different types of Facebook and Twitter groups for different mental diseases, their purposes, and their functions. We focused the search on depressive disorders, dementia, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and examined the Facebook (www.facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com) groups. We used four assessment criteria: (1) purpose, (2) type of creator, (3) telehealth content, and (4) free-text responses in surveys and interviews. We observed a total of 357 Parkinson groups, 325 dementia groups, 853 Alzheimer groups, and 1127 depression groups on Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, we analyze the responses provided by different users. The survey and interview responses showed that many people were interested in using social networks to support and help in the fight against these diseases. The results indicate that social networks are acceptable by users in terms of simplicity and utility. People use them for finding support, information, self-help, advocacy and awareness, and for collecting funds. PMID:24698768

  6. Building An Integrated Neurodegenerative Disease Database At An Academic Health Center

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Sharon X.; Baek, Young; Grossman, Murray; Arnold, Steven E.; Karlawish, Jason; Siderowf, Andrew; Hurtig, Howard; Elman, Lauren; McCluskey, Leo; Van Deerlin, Vivianna; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2010-01-01

    Background It is becoming increasingly important to study common and distinct etiologies, clinical and pathological features, and mechanisms related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). These comparative studies rely on powerful database tools to quickly generate data sets which match diverse and complementary criteria set by the studies. Methods In this paper, we present a novel Integrated NeuroDegenerative Disease (INDD) database developed at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) through a consortium of Penn investigators. Since these investigators work on AD, PD, ALS and FTLD, this allowed us to achieve the goal of developing an INDD database for these major neurodegenerative disorders. We used Microsoft SQL Server as the platform with built-in “backwards” functionality to provide Access as a front-end client to interface with the database. We used PHP hypertext Preprocessor to create the “front end” web interface and then integrated individual neurodegenerative disease databases using a master lookup table. We also present methods of data entry, database security, database backups, and database audit trails for this INDD database. Results We compare the results of a biomarker study using the INDD database to those using an alternative approach by querying individual database separately. Conclusions We have demonstrated that the Penn INDD database has the ability to query multiple database tables from a single console with high accuracy and reliability. The INDD database provides a powerful tool for generating data sets in comparative studies across several neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21784346

  7. Neural stem cells could serve as a therapeutic material for age-related neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Suksuphew, Sarawut; Noisa, Parinya

    2015-01-01

    Progressively loss of neural and glial cells is the key event that leads to nervous system dysfunctions and diseases. Several neurodegenerative diseases, for instance Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, are associated to aging and suggested to be a consequence of deficiency of neural stem cell pool in the affected brain regions. Endogenous neural stem cells exist throughout life and are found in specific niches of human brain. These neural stem cells are responsible for the regeneration of new neurons to restore, in the normal circumstance, the functions of the brain. Endogenous neural stem cells can be isolated, propagated, and, notably, differentiated to most cell types of the brain. On the other hand, other types of stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells can also serve as a source for neural stem cell production, that hold a great promise for regeneration of the brain. The replacement of neural stem cells, either endogenous or stem cell-derived neural stem cells, into impaired brain is highly expected as a possible therapeutic mean for neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, clinical features and current routinely treatments of age-related neurodegenerative diseases are documented. Noteworthy, we presented the promising evidence of neural stem cells and their derivatives in curing such diseases, together with the remaining challenges to achieve the best outcome for patients. PMID:25815135

  8. Applications of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Studying the Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Wenbin; Cao, Lan; Kalionis, Bill; Xia, Shijin; Tai, Xiantao

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons. Incurable neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) show dramatic rising trends particularly in the advanced age groups. However, the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully elucidated, and to date there are no biomarkers for early detection or effective treatments for the underlying causes of these diseases. Furthermore, due to species variation and differences between animal models (e.g., mouse transgenic and knockout models) of neurodegenerative diseases, substantial debate focuses on whether animal and cell culture disease models can correctly model the condition in human patients. In 2006, Yamanaka of Kyoto University first demonstrated a novel approach for the preparation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which displayed similar pluripotency potential to embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Currently, iPSCs studies are permeating many sectors of disease research. Patient sample-derived iPSCs can be used to construct patient-specific disease models to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of disease development and to test new therapeutic strategies. Accordingly, the present review will focus on recent progress in iPSC research in the modeling of neurodegenerative disorders and in the development of novel therapeutic options. PMID:26240571

  9. Applications of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Studying the Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Wan, Wenbin; Cao, Lan; Kalionis, Bill; Xia, Shijin; Tai, Xiantao

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons. Incurable neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) show dramatic rising trends particularly in the advanced age groups. However, the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully elucidated, and to date there are no biomarkers for early detection or effective treatments for the underlying causes of these diseases. Furthermore, due to species variation and differences between animal models (e.g., mouse transgenic and knockout models) of neurodegenerative diseases, substantial debate focuses on whether animal and cell culture disease models can correctly model the condition in human patients. In 2006, Yamanaka of Kyoto University first demonstrated a novel approach for the preparation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which displayed similar pluripotency potential to embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Currently, iPSCs studies are permeating many sectors of disease research. Patient sample-derived iPSCs can be used to construct patient-specific disease models to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of disease development and to test new therapeutic strategies. Accordingly, the present review will focus on recent progress in iPSC research in the modeling of neurodegenerative disorders and in the development of novel therapeutic options. PMID:26240571

  10. Multifunctional iron-chelators with protective roles against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Andreia; Marques, Sérgio M; Quintanova, Catarina; Silva, Diana F; Cardoso, Sandra M; Chaves, Sílvia; Santos, M Amélia

    2013-05-01

    The multifactorial nature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the absence of a disease modifying drug, makes the development of new multifunctional drugs an attractive therapeutic strategy. Taking into account the hallmarks of AD patient brains, such as low levels of acetylcholine, misfolding of proteins and associated beta-amyloid (Aβ) aggregation, oxidative stress and metal dyshomeostasis, we have developed a series of compounds that merge three different approaches: metal attenuation, anti-Aβ aggregation and anti-acetylcholinesterase activity. Therefore, 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone (3,4-HP) and benzothiazole molecular moieties were selected as starting frameworks due to their well known affinity for iron and Aβ peptides, respectively. The linkers between these two main functional groups were selected on the basis of virtual screening, so that the final molecule could further inhibit the acetylcholinesterase, responsible for the cholinergic losses. We describe herein the design and synthesis of the new hybrid compounds, followed by the assessment of solution properties, namely iron chelation and anti-oxidant capacity. The compounds were bioassayed for their capacity to inhibit AChE, as well as self- and Zn mediated-Aβ(1-42) aggregation. Finally, we assessed their effects on the viability of neuronal cells stressed with Aβ(42). PMID:23487286

  11. Dynamin-related protein 1 and mitochondrial fragmentation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Reddy, P Hemachandra; Reddy, Tejaswini P; Manczak, Maria; Calkins, Marcus J; Shirendeb, Ulziibat; Mao, Peizhong

    2011-06-24

    The purpose of this article is to review the recent developments of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial fragmentation, and neuronal damage in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The GTPase family of proteins, including fission proteins, dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1), mitochondrial fission 1 (Fis1), and fusion proteins (Mfn1, Mfn2 and Opa1) are essential to maintain mitochondrial fission and fusion balance, and to provide necessary adenosine triphosphate to neurons. Among these, Drp1 is involved in several important aspects of mitochondria, including shape, size, distribution, remodeling, and maintenance of mitochondria in mammalian cells. In addition, recent advancements in molecular, cellular, electron microscopy, and confocal imaging studies revealed that Drp1 is associated with several cellular functions, including mitochondrial and peroxisomal fragmentation, phosphorylation, SUMOylation, ubiquitination, and cell death. In the last two decades, tremendous progress has been made in researching mitochondrial dynamics, in yeast, worms, and mammalian cells; and this research has provided evidence linking Drp1 to neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers in the neurodegenerative disease field are beginning to recognize the possible involvement of Drp1 in causing mitochondrial fragmentation and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This article summarizes research findings relating Drp1 to mitochondrial fission and fusion, in yeast, worms, and mammals. Based on findings from the Reddy laboratory and others', we propose that mutant proteins of neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, PD, HD, and ALS, interact with Drp1, activate mitochondrial fission machinery, fragment mitochondria excessively, and impair mitochondrial transport and mitochondrial dynamics, ultimately causing mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal damage. PMID:21145355

  12. Bioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies—data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European

  13. Bioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders.

    PubMed

    Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies-data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European

  14. Chronic inflammation (inflammaging) and its potential contribution to age-associated diseases.

    PubMed

    Franceschi, Claudio; Campisi, Judith

    2014-06-01

    Human aging is characterized by a chronic, low-grade inflammation, and this phenomenon has been termed as "inflammaging." Inflammaging is a highly significant risk factor for both morbidity and mortality in the elderly people, as most if not all age-related diseases share an inflammatory pathogenesis. Nevertheless, the precise etiology of inflammaging and its potential causal role in contributing to adverse health outcomes remain largely unknown. The identification of pathways that control age-related inflammation across multiple systems is therefore important in order to understand whether treatments that modulate inflammaging may be beneficial in old people. The session on inflammation of the Advances in Gerosciences meeting held at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging in Bethesda on October 30 and 31, 2013 was aimed at defining these important unanswered questions about inflammaging. This article reports the main outcomes of this session. PMID:24833586

  15. Potential of cystamine and cysteamine in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gibrat, C; Cicchetti, F

    2011-03-30

    Neurodegenerative disorders are a subset of disabling pathologies characterized, in part, by a progressive and specific loss of certain brain cell populations. Current therapeutic approaches for the treatment of these disorders are mainly designed towards symptom management and do not manifestly block their typified neuronal loss. However, research conducted over the past decade has reflected the increasing interest and need to find disease-modifying molecules. Among the several neuroprotective agents emerging from experimental animal work, cystamine, as well as its reduced form cysteamine, have been identified as potential candidate drugs. Given the significant benefits observed in a Huntington's disease (HD) model, cysteamine has recently leaped to clinical trial. Here, we review the beneficial properties of these compounds as reported in animal studies, their mechanistic underpinnings, and their potential implications for the future treatment of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, and more specifically for HD and Parkinson's disease (PD). PMID:21111020

  16. Movement and Other Neurodegenerative Syndromes in Patients with Systemic Rheumatic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Menezes, Rikitha; Pantelyat, Alexander; Izbudak, Izlem; Birnbaum, Julius

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Patients with rheumatic diseases can present with movement and other neurodegenerative disorders. It may be underappreciated that movement and other neurodegenerative disorders can encompass a wide variety of disease entities. Such disorders are strikingly heterogeneous and lead to a wider spectrum of clinical injury than seen in Parkinson's disease. Therefore, we sought to stringently phenotype movement and other neurodegenerative disorders presenting in a case series of rheumatic disease patients. We integrated our findings with a review of the literature to understand mechanisms which may account for such a ubiquitous pattern of clinical injury. Seven rheumatic disease patients (5 Sjögren's syndrome patients, 2 undifferentiated connective tissue disease patients) were referred and could be misdiagnosed as having Parkinson's disease. However, all of these patients were ultimately diagnosed as having other movement or neurodegenerative disorders. Findings inconsistent with and more expansive than Parkinson's disease included cerebellar degeneration, dystonia with an alien-limb phenomenon, and nonfluent aphasias. A notable finding was that individual patients could be affected by cooccurring movement and other neurodegenerative disorders, each of which could be exceptionally rare (ie, prevalence of ∼1:1000), and therefore with the collective probability that such disorders were merely coincidental and causally unrelated being as low as ∼1-per-billion. Whereas our review of the literature revealed that ubiquitous patterns of clinical injury were frequently associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings suggestive of a widespread vasculopathy, our patients did not have such neuroimaging findings. Instead, our patients could have syndromes which phenotypically resembled paraneoplastic and other inflammatory disorders which are known to be associated with antineuronal antibodies. We similarly identified immune-mediated and inflammatory markers

  17. The basics of preclinical drug development for neurodegenerative disease indications.

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Karen L; Spack, Edward G

    2009-01-01

    Preclinical development encompasses the activities that link drug discovery in the laboratory to initiation of human clinical trials. Preclinical studies can be designed to identify a lead candidate from several hits; develop the best procedure for new drug scale-up; select the best formulation; determine the route, frequency, and duration of exposure; and ultimately support the intended clinical trial design. The details of each preclinical development package can vary, but all have some common features. Rodent and nonrodent mammalian models are used to delineate the pharmacokinetic profile and general safety, as well as to identify toxicity patterns. One or more species may be used to determine the drug's mean residence time in the body, which depends on inherent absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties. For drugs intended to treat Alzheimer's disease or other brain-targeted diseases, the ability of a drug to cross the blood brain barrier may be a key issue. Toxicology and safety studies identify potential target organs for adverse effects and define the Therapeutic Index to set the initial starting doses in clinical trials. Pivotal preclinical safety studies generally require regulatory oversight as defined by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Laboratory Practices and international guidelines, including the International Conference on Harmonization. Concurrent preclinical development activities include developing the Clinical Plan and preparing the new drug product, including the associated documentation to meet stringent FDA Good Manufacturing Practices regulatory guidelines. A wide range of commercial and government contract options are available for investigators seeking to advance their candidate(s). Government programs such as the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants and the National Institutes of Health Rapid Access to Interventional Development Pilot Program provide funding and

  18. The basics of preclinical drug development for neurodegenerative disease indications

    PubMed Central

    Steinmetz, Karen L; Spack, Edward G

    2009-01-01

    Preclinical development encompasses the activities that link drug discovery in the laboratory to initiation of human clinical trials. Preclinical studies can be designed to identify a lead candidate from several hits; develop the best procedure for new drug scale-up; select the best formulation; determine the route, frequency, and duration of exposure; and ultimately support the intended clinical trial design. The details of each preclinical development package can vary, but all have some common features. Rodent and nonrodent mammalian models are used to delineate the pharmacokinetic profile and general safety, as well as to identify toxicity patterns. One or more species may be used to determine the drug's mean residence time in the body, which depends on inherent absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties. For drugs intended to treat Alzheimer's disease or other brain-targeted diseases, the ability of a drug to cross the blood brain barrier may be a key issue. Toxicology and safety studies identify potential target organs for adverse effects and define the Therapeutic Index to set the initial starting doses in clinical trials. Pivotal preclinical safety studies generally require regulatory oversight as defined by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Laboratory Practices and international guidelines, including the International Conference on Harmonisation. Concurrent preclinical development activities include developing the Clinical Plan and preparing the new drug product, including the associated documentation to meet stringent FDA Good Manufacturing Practices regulatory guidelines. A wide range of commercial and government contract options are available for investigators seeking to advance their candidate(s). Government programs such as the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants and the National Institutes of Health Rapid Access to Interventional Development Pilot Program provide funding and

  19. Replaceable neurons and neurodegenerative disease share depressed UCHL1 levels

    PubMed Central

    Lombardino, Anthony J.; Li, Xiao-Ching; Hertel, Moritz; Nottebohm, Fernando

    2005-01-01

    Might there be systematic differences in gene expression between neurons that undergo spontaneous replacement in the adult brain and those that do not? We first explored this possibility in the high vocal center (HVC) of male zebra finches by using a combination of neuronal tracers, laser capture microdissection, and RNA profiling. HVC has two kinds of projection neurons, one of which continues to be produced and replaced in adulthood. HVC neurons of the replaceable kind showed a consistent and robust underexpression of the deubiquitination gene ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase (UCHL1) that is involved with protein degradation. Singing behavior, known to increase the survival of adult-born HVC neurons in birds, significantly up-regulated the levels of UCHL1 in the replaceable neurons but not in their equally active nonreplaceable counterparts. We then looked in the mouse brain and found relatively low UCHL1 expression in granule neurons of the hippocampus and olfactory bulb, two well characterized types of replaceable neurons in mammals. UCHL1 dysfunction has been associated with neurodegeneration in Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease patients. In all these instances, reduced UCHL1 function may jeopardize the survival of CNS neurons. PMID:15911766

  20. [Morphological magnetic resonance imaging: its value for the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Hahn, U; Schwarz, J; Gratz, S; Kaiser, J W; Jarnig, M; Förstl, H

    2008-05-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays an important role in differentiating idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) from its atypical forms. Causes like chronic vascular disease and normal-pressure hydrocephalus are easily visualized. Furthermore, specific atrophy patterns can be found with multi-system atrophies, corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy. In addition the review also deals with specific imaging criteria of other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Wilson's disease, neurodegeneration with iron accumulation in the brain and Huntington's chorea. MRI is of minor importance for differentiating Alzheimer's disease from frontotemporal dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. However, specific patterns are found in cerebral amyloid angiopathy and prion diseases.. PMID:18437637

  1. Alzheimer's disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and age-associated memory impairment: current understanding and progress toward integrative prevention.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Parris M

    2008-06-01

    Alzheimer's disease, AD, is the most common form of dementia. AD initially targets memory and progressively destroys the mind. The brain atrophies as the neocortex suffers neuronal, synaptic, and dendritic losses, and the hallmark amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles proliferate. Pharmacological management, at best, is palliative and transiently effective, with marked adverse effects. Certain nutrients intrinsic to human biochemistry (orthomolecules) match or exceed pharmacological drug benefits in double-blind, randomized, controlled trials, with superior safety. Early intervention is feasible because its heritability is typically minimal and pathological deterioration is detectable years prior to diagnosis. The syndrome amnestic mild cognitive impairment exhibits AD pathology and to date has frustrated attempts at intervention. The condition age-associated memory impairment is a nonpathological extreme of normal brain aging, but with less severe cognitive impairment than amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Age-associated memory impairment is a feasible target for early intervention against AD, beginning with the modifiable AD risk factors - smoking, hypertension, homocysteine, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity. Stress reduction, avoidance of toxins, and mental and physical exercise are important aspects of prevention. The diet should emphasize omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid; flavonoids and other antioxidant nutrients; and B vitamins, especially folate, B6 and B12. Dietary supplementation is best focused on those proven from randomized, controlled trials: the phospholipids phosphatidylserine and glycerophosphocholine, the energy nutrient acetyl-L-carnitine, vitamins C and E, and other antioxidants. A comprehensive integrative strategy initiated early in cognitive decline is the most pragmatic approach to controlling progression to Alzheimer's disease. PMID:18590347

  2. Roles of long noncoding RNAs in brain development, functional diversification and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ping; Zuo, Xialin; Deng, Houliang; Liu, Xiaoxia; Liu, Li; Ji, Aimin

    2013-08-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been attracting immense research interest, while only a handful of lncRNAs have been characterized thoroughly. Their involvement in the fundamental cellular processes including regulate gene expression at epigenetics, transcription, and post-transcription highlighted a central role in cell homeostasis. However, lncRNAs studies are still at a relatively early stage, their definition, conservation, functions, and action mechanisms remain fairly complicated. Here, we give a systematic and comprehensive summary of the existing knowledge of lncRNAs in order to provide a better understanding of this new studying field. lncRNAs play important roles in brain development, neuron function and maintenance, and neurodegenerative diseases are becoming increasingly evident. In this review, we also highlighted recent studies related lncRNAs in central nervous system (CNS) development and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and elucidated some specific lncRNAs which may be important for understanding the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, also have the potential as therapeutic targets. PMID:23756188

  3. Role of paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in organophosphate metabolism: Implications in neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Androutsopoulos, Vasilis P.; Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M.

    2011-11-15

    Organophosphate pesticides are a class of compounds that are widely used in agricultural and rural areas. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a phase-I enzyme that is involved in the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters. Environmental poisoning by organophosphate compounds has been the main driving force of previous research on PON1 enzymes. Recent discoveries in animal models have revealed the important role of the enzyme in lipid metabolism. However although PON1 function is well established in experimental models, the contribution of PON1 in neurodegenerative diseases remains unclear. In this minireview we summarize the involvement of PON1 genotypes in the occurrence of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A brief overview of latest epidemiological studies, regarding the two most important PON1 coding region polymorphisms PON1-L55M and PON1-Q192R is presented. Positive and negative associations of PON1 with disease occurrence are reported. Notably the MM and RR alleles contribute a risk enhancing effect for the development of some neurodegenerative diseases, which may be explained by the reduced lipoprotein free radical scavenging activity that may give rise to neuronal damage, through distinct mechanism. Conflicting findings that fail to support this postulate may represent the human population ethnic heterogeneity, different sample size and environmental parameters affecting PON1 status. We conclude that further epidemiological studies are required in order to address the exact contribution of PON1 genome in combination with organophosphate exposure in populations with neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Short non-coding RNA biology and neurodegenerative disorders: novel disease targets and therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Weinberg, Marc S.; Wood, Matthew J.A.

    2009-01-01

    Genomic studies in model organisms and in humans have shown that complexity in biological systems arises not from the absolute number of genes, but from the differential use of combinations of genetic programmes and the myriad ways in which these are regulated spatially and temporally during development, senescence and in disease. Nowhere is this lesson in biological complexity likely to be more apparent than in the human nervous system. Increasingly, the role of genomic non-protein coding small regulatory RNAs, in particular the microRNAs (miRNAs), in regulating cellular pathways controlling fundamental functions in the nervous system and in neurodegenerative disease is being appreciated. Not only might dysregulated expression of miRNAs serve as potential disease biomarkers but increasingly such short regulatory RNAs are being implicated directly in the pathogenesis of complex, sporadic neurodegenerative disease. Moreover, the targeting and exploitation of short RNA silencing pathways, commonly known as RNA interference, and the development of related tools, offers novel therapeutic approaches to target upstream disease components with the promise of providing future disease modifying therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:19297399

  5. Gene suppression strategies for dominantly inherited neurodegenerative diseases: lessons from Huntington's disease and spinocerebellar ataxia.

    PubMed

    Keiser, Megan S; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; McBride, Jodi L

    2016-04-15

    RNA-targeting approaches are emerging as viable therapeutics that offer an alternative method to modulate traditionally 'undrugable' targets. In the case of dominantly inherited neurodegenerative diseases, gene suppression strategies can target the underlying cause of these intractable disorders. Polyglutamine diseases are caused by CAG expansions in discrete genes, making them ideal candidates for gene suppression therapies. Here, we discuss the current state of gene suppression approaches for Huntington's disease and the spinocerebellar ataxias, including the use of antisense oligonucleotides, short-interfering RNAs, as well as viral vector-mediated delivery of short hairpin RNAs and artificial microRNAs. We focus on lessons learned from preclinical studies investigating gene suppression therapies for these disorders, particularly in rodent models of disease and in non-human primates. In animal models, recent advances in gene suppression technologies have not only prevented disease progression in a number of cases, but have also reversed existing disease, providing evidence that reducing the expression of disease-causing genes may be of benefit in symptomatic patients. Both allele- and non-allele-specific approaches to gene suppression have made great strides over the past decade, showing efficacy and safety in both small and large animal models. Advances in delivery techniques allow for broad and durable suppression of target genes, have been validated in non-human primates and in some cases, are currently being evaluated in human patients. Finally, we discuss the challenges of developing and delivering gene suppression constructs into the CNS and recent advances of potential therapeutics into the clinic. PMID:26503961

  6. Recurrent systemic infections with Streptococcus pneumoniae do not aggravate the course of experimental neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ebert, Sandra; Goos, Miriam; Rollwagen, Lena; Baake, Daniel; Zech, Wolf-Dieter; Esselmann, Hermann; Wiltfang, Jens; Mollenhauer, Brit; Schliebs, Reinhard; Gerber, Joachim; Nau, Roland

    2010-04-01

    Neurological symptoms of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's dementia (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often worsen during infections. We assessed the disease-modulating effects of recurrent systemic infections with the most frequent respiratory pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae, on the course of AD, PD, and ALS in mouse models of these neurodegenerative diseases [transgenic Tg2576 mice, (Thy1)-[A30P]alpha SYN mice, and Tg(SOD1-G93A) mice]. Mice were repeatedly challenged intraperitoneally with live S. pneumoniae type 3 and treated with ceftriaxone for 3 days. Infection caused an increase of interleukin-6 concentrations in brain homogenates. The clinical status of (Thy1)-[A30P]alpha SYN mice and Tg(SOD1-G93A) mice was monitored by repeated assessment with a clinical score. Motor performance was controlled by the tightrope test and the rotarod test. In Tg2576 mice, spatial memory and learning deficits were assessed in the Morris water maze. In none of the three mouse models onset or course of the disease as evaluated by the clinical tests was affected by the recurrent systemic infections performed. Levels of alpha-synuclein in brains of (Thy1)-[A30P]alpha SYN mice did not differ between infected animals and control animals. Plaque sizes and concentrations of A beta 1-40 and A beta 1-42 were not significantly different in brains of infected and uninfected Tg2576 mice. In conclusion, onset and course of disease in mouse models of three common neurodegenerative disorders were not influenced by repeated systemic infections with S. pneumoniae, indicating that the effect of moderately severe acute infections on the course of neurodegenerative diseases may be less pronounced than suspected. PMID:19859962

  7. Lessons from the analysis of nonhuman primates for understanding human aging and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Verdier, Jean-Michel; Acquatella, Isabelle; Lautier, Corinne; Devau, Gina; Trouche, Stéphanie; Lasbleiz, Christelle; Mestre-Francés, Nadine

    2015-01-01

    Animal models are necessary tools for solving the most serious challenges facing medical research. In aging and neurodegenerative disease studies, rodents occupy a place of choice. However, the most challenging questions about longevity, the complexity and functioning of brain networks or social intelligence can almost only be investigated in nonhuman primates. Beside the fact that their brain structure is much closer to that of humans, they develop highly complex cognitive strategies and they are visually-oriented like humans. For these reasons, they deserve consideration, although their management and care are more complicated and the related costs much higher. Despite these caveats, considerable scientific advances have been possible using nonhuman primates. This review concisely summarizes their role in the study of aging and of the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disorders associated mainly with cognitive dysfunctions (Alzheimer's and prion diseases) or motor deficits (Parkinson's and related diseases). PMID:25788873

  8. Role of Different Alpha-Synuclein Strains in Synucleinopathies, Similarities with other Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Melki, Ronald

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Misfolded protein aggregates are the hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases in humans. The main protein constituent of these aggregates and the regions within the brain that are affected differ from one neurodegenerative disorder to another. A plethora of reports suggest that distinct diseases have in common the ability of protein aggregates to spread and amplify within the central nervous system. This review summarizes briefly what is known about the nature of the protein aggregates that are infectious and the reason they are toxic to cells. The chameleon property of polypeptides which aggregation into distinct high-molecular weight assemblies is associated to different diseases, in particular, that of alpha-synuclein which aggregation is the hallmark of distinct synucleinopathies, is discussed. Finally, strategies targeting the formation and propagation of structurally distinct alpha-synuclein assemblies associated to different synucleinopathies are presented and their therapeutic and diagnostic potential is discussed. PMID:25757830

  9. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 olfactory impairment shows a pattern similar to other major neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Velázquez-Pérez, Luis; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan; Díaz, Rosalinda; González, Ruth Pérez; Ochoa, Nalia Canales; Cruz, Gilberto Sánchez; Mederos, Luis Enrique Almaguer; Góngora, Edilberto Martínez; Hudson, Robyn; Drucker-Colin, René

    2006-09-01

    Olfactory function is affected in different neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, it has been found that some hereditary ataxias are also associated with significant olfactory impairment. However, the initial findings did not examine the nature of the olfactory impairment associated with these ataxias. In the present article the effect of spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) on olfactory function was studied in 53 SCA2 patients and 53 healthy control subjects from Holguín, Cuba. Several tests were applied to evaluate olfactory threshold, description, identification and discrimination. The results show significant impairment in SCA2 patients on all olfactory measurements, and the pattern of olfactory deficits found suggests that they have much in common with those reported for other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. PMID:16609806

  10. Histochemical approaches to assess cell-to-cell transmission of misfolded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Natale, G.; Pompili, E.; Biagioni, F.; Paparelli, S.; Lenzi, P.; Fornai, F.

    2013-01-01

    Formation, aggregation and transmission of abnormal proteins are common features in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. The mechanisms underlying protein alterations in neurodegenerative diseases remain controversial. Novel findings highlighted altered protein clearing systems as common biochemical pathways which generate protein misfolding, which in turn causes protein aggregation and protein spreading. In fact, proteinaceous aggregates are prone to cell-tocell propagation. This is reminiscent of what happens in prion disorders, where the prion protein misfolds thus forming aggregates which spread to neighbouring cells. For this reason, the term prionoids is currently used to emphasize how several misfolded proteins are transmitted in neurodegenerative diseases following this prion-like pattern. Histochemical techniques including the use of specific antibodies covering both light and electron microscopy offer a powerful tool to describe these phenomena and investigate specific molecular steps. These include: prion like protein alterations; glycation of prion-like altered proteins to form advanced glycation end-products (AGEs); mechanisms of extracellular secretion; interaction of AGEs with specific receptors placed on neighbouring cells (RAGEs). The present manuscript comments on these phenomena aimed to provide a consistent scenario of the available histochemical approaches to dissect each specific step. PMID:23549464

  11. Hormesis, Cell Death, and Regenerative Medicine for Neurode-Generative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guanghu

    2013-01-01

    Although the adult human brain has a small number of neural stem cells, they are insufficient to repair the damaged brain to achieve significant functional recovery for neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Stem cell therapy, by either enhancing endogenous neurogenesis, or transplanting stem cells, has been regarded as a promising solution. However, the harsh environment of the diseased brain posts a severe threat to the survival and correct differentiation of those new stem cells. Hormesis (or preconditioning, stress adaptation) is an adaptation mechanism by which cells or organisms are potentiated to survive an otherwise lethal condition, such as the harsh oxidative stress in the stroke brain. Stem cells treated by low levels of chemical, physical, or pharmacological stimuli have been shown to survive better in the neurodegenerative brain. Thus combining hormesis and stem cell therapy might improve the outcome for treatment of these diseases. In addition, since the cell death patterns and their underlying molecular mechanism may vary in different neurodegenerative diseases, even in different progression stages of the same disease, it is essential to design a suitable and optimum hormetic strategy that is tailored to the individual patient. PMID:23930104

  12. Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Spotlight on Fatty Acid Oxidation and Lipoperoxidation Products

    PubMed Central

    Barrera, Giuseppina; Gentile, Fabrizio; Pizzimenti, Stefania; Canuto, Rosa Angela; Daga, Martina; Arcaro, Alessia; Cetrangolo, Giovanni Paolo; Lepore, Alessio; Ferretti, Carlo; Dianzani, Chiara; Muzio, Giuliana

    2016-01-01

    In several human diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced mainly by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, is increased. In cancer cells, the increase of ROS production has been associated with mtDNA mutations that, in turn, seem to be functional in the alterations of the bioenergetics and the biosynthetic state of cancer cells. Moreover, ROS overproduction can enhance the peroxidation of fatty acids in mitochondrial membranes. In particular, the peroxidation of mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin leads to the formation of reactive aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) and malondialdehyde (MDA), which are able to react with proteins and DNA. Covalent modifications of mitochondrial proteins by the products of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the course of oxidative cell stress are involved in the mitochondrial dysfunctions observed in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Such modifications appear to affect negatively mitochondrial integrity and function, in particular energy metabolism, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, antioxidant defenses and stress responses. In neurodegenerative diseases, indirect confirmation for the pathogenetic relevance of LPO-dependent modifications of mitochondrial proteins comes from the disease phenotypes associated with their genetic alterations. PMID:26907355

  13. Epidemiology of Major Neurodegenerative Diseases in Women: Contribution of the Nurses’ Health Study

    PubMed Central

    Munger, Kassandra L.; Ascherio, Alberto; Grodstein, Francine

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. To review the contribution of the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) to identifying the role of lifestyle, diet, and genetic or biological factors in several neurodegenerative diseases, including cognitive decline, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Methods. We completed a narrative review of the publications of the NHS and NHS II between 1976 and 2016. Results. In primary findings for cognitive function, higher intake of nuts, moderate alcohol consumption, and higher physical activity levels were associated with better cognitive function. Flavonoids, physical activity, and postmenopausal hormone therapy were related to cognitive decline over 2 to 6 years. The NHS also has been integral in establishing Epstein-Barr virus infection, inadequate vitamin D nutrition, cigarette smoking, and obesity as risk factors for multiple sclerosis and inverse associations between cigarette smoking and caffeine and risk of Parkinson’s disease. Increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been associated with cigarette smoking and decreased risk associated with obesity. Conclusions. The NHS has provided invaluable resources on neurodegenerative diseases and contributed to their etiological understanding. We anticipate that the NHS cohorts will continue to make important contributions to the field of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27459462

  14. microRNAs as neuroregulators, biomarkers and therapeutic agents in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Basak, Indranil; Patil, Ketan S; Alves, Guido; Larsen, Jan Petter; Møller, Simon Geir

    2016-02-01

    The last decade has experienced the emergence of microRNAs as a key molecular tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of human diseases. Although the focus has mostly been on cancer, neurodegenerative diseases present an exciting, yet less explored, platform for microRNA research. Several studies have highlighted the significance of microRNAs in neurogenesis and neurodegeneration, and pre-clinical studies have shown the potential of microRNAs as biomarkers. Despite this, no bona fide microRNAs have been identified as true diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease. This is mainly due to the lack of precisely defined patient cohorts and the variability within and between individual cohorts. However, the discovery that microRNAs exist as stable molecules at detectable levels in body fluids has opened up new avenues for microRNAs as potential biomarker candidates. Furthermore, technological developments in microRNA biology have contributed to the possible design of microRNA-mediated disease intervention strategies. The combination of these advancements, with the availability of well-defined longitudinal patient cohort, promises to not only assist in developing invaluable diagnostic tools for clinicians, but also to increase our overall understanding of the underlying heterogeneity of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of the existing knowledge of microRNAs in neurodegeneration and provide a perspective of the applicability of microRNAs as a basis for future therapeutic intervention strategies. PMID:26608596

  15. Transglutaminase inhibition as a possible therapeutical approach to protect cells from death in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Iannaccone, Martina; Serretiello, Enrica; De Vivo, Giulia; Martin, Antonio; Stefanile, Alessandro; Titta, Federica; Gentile, Vittorio

    2013-08-01

    Transglutaminases are ubiquitous enzymes which catalyze post-translational modifications of proteins. The main activity of these enzymes is the cross-linking of glutaminyl residues of a protein/peptide substrate to lysyl residues of a protein/peptide co-substrate. In addition to lysyl residues, other second nucleophilic co-substrates may include monoamines or polyamines (to form mono- or bi-substituted /crosslinked adducts) or -OH groups (to form ester linkages). In absence of co-substrates, the nucleophile may be water, resulting in the net deamidation of the glutaminyl residue. Recently, "tissue" transglutaminase (transglutaminase 2), a member of the transglutaminase family of enzymes, has been shown to be involved in the molecular mechanisms responsible for some human pathologies, including celiac disease, a very widespread human pathology. Transglutaminase activity has also been hypothesized to be involved in the pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for other several human diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, often associated to celiac disease. Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, supranuclear palsy, Huntington's Disease and other polyglutamine diseases, are characterized in part by aberrant cerebral transglutaminase activity and by increased cross-linked proteins in affected brains. This review focuses on the possible therapeutic effects of selective transglutaminase inhibitors for patients with diseases characterized by aberrant transglutaminase activity and on the strategies to design such transglutaminase inhibitors. In addition, the review also examines available patents that relates to cysteamine and derivatives. PMID:23688272

  16. Spreading of pathology in neurodegenerative diseases: a focus on human studies

    PubMed Central

    Brettschneider, Johannes; Del Tredici, Kelly; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2015-01-01

    The progression of many neurodegenerative diseases is thought to be driven by the template-directed misfolding, seeded aggregation and cell–cell transmission of characteristic disease-related proteins, leading to the sequential dissemination of pathological protein aggregates. Recent evidence strongly suggests that the anatomical connections made by neurons — in addition to the intrinsic characteristics of neurons, such as morphology and gene expression profile — determine whether they are vulnerable to degeneration in these disorders. Notably, this common pathogenic principle opens up opportunities for pursuing novel targets for therapeutic interventions for these neurodegenerative disorders. We review recent evidence that supports the notion of neuron–neuron protein propagation, with a focus on neuropathological and positron emission tomography imaging studies in humans. PMID:25588378

  17. [Functions of carboxyl-terminus of Hsc70 interacting protein and its role in neurodegenerative disease].

    PubMed

    Yan, Wei-qian; Wang, Jun-ling; Tang, Bei-sha

    2012-08-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a group of chronic progressive neuronal damage disorders. The cause is unclear, most of them share a same pathological hallmark with misfold proteins accumulating in neurons. Carboxyl-terminus of Hsc70 interacting protein (CHIP) is a dual functional molecule, which has a N terminal tetratrico peptide repeat (TPR) domain that interacts with Hsc/Hsp70 complex and Hsp90 enabling CHIP to modulate the aberrant protein folding; and a C terminal U-box ubiquitin ligase domain that binds to the 26S subunit of the proteasome involved in protein degradation via ubiqutin-proteasome system. CHIP protein mediates interactions between the chaperone system and the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and plays an important role in maintaining the protein homeostasis in cells. This article reviews the molecular characteristics and physiological functions of CHIP, and its role in cellular metabolism and discusses the relationship between CHIP dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22875499

  18. Redox regulation of protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic damage, and cell death in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Cho, Dong-Hyung; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2012-01-01

    The loss or injury of neurons associated with oxidative and nitrosative redox stress plays an important role in the onset of various neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, nitric oxide (NO), can affect neuronal survival through a process called S-nitrosylation, by which the NO group undergoes a redox reaction with specific protein thiols. This in turn can lead to the accumulation of misfolded proteins, which generally form aggregates in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Evidence suggests that S-nitrosylation can also impair mitochondrial function and lead to excessive fission of mitochondria and consequent bioenergetic compromise via effects on the activity of the fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). This insult leads to synaptic dysfunction and loss. Additionally, high levels of NO can S-nitrosylate a number of aberrant targets involved in neuronal survival pathways, including the antiapoptotic protein XIAP, inhibiting its ability to prevent apoptosis. PMID:22771760

  19. Bioactive Compounds from Macroalgae in the New Millennium: Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Mariana; Valentão, Patrícia; Andrade, Paula B.

    2014-01-01

    Marine environment has proven to be a rich source of structurally diverse and complex compounds exhibiting numerous interesting biological effects. Macroalgae are currently being explored as novel and sustainable sources of bioactive compounds for both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. Given the increasing prevalence of different forms of dementia, researchers have been focusing their attention on the discovery and development of new compounds from macroalgae for potential application in neuroprotection. Neuroprotection involves multiple and complex mechanisms, which are deeply related. Therefore, compounds exerting neuroprotective effects through different pathways could present viable approaches in the management of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, several studies had already provided promising insights into the neuroprotective effects of a series of compounds isolated from different macroalgae species. This review will focus on compounds from macroalgae that exhibit neuroprotective effects and their potential application to treat and/or prevent neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25257784

  20. Physical Exercise-Induced Adult Neurogenesis: A Good Strategy to Prevent Cognitive Decline in Neurodegenerative Diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Yau, Suk-yu; Christie, Brian R.; So, Kwok-fai

    2014-01-01

    Cumulative evidence has indicated that there is an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in cognitive function. With the increasing prevalence of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases among the ageing population, physical exercise, a potent enhancer of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, has emerged as a potential preventative strategy/treatment to reduce cognitive decline. Here we review the functional role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, and how this form of structural plasticity is altered in neurodegenerative diseases known to involve cognitive impairment. We further discuss how physical exercise may contribute to cognitive improvement in the ageing brain by preserving adult neurogenesis, and review the recent approaches for measuring changes in neurogenesis in the live human brain. PMID:24818140

  1. Potential role of olive oil phenolic compounds in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Morató, Jose; Xicota, Laura; Fitó, Montse; Farré, Magí; Dierssen, Mara; de la Torre, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been associated with a reduced incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and better cognitive performance. Virgin olive oil, the main source of lipids in the MD, is rich in minor phenolic components, particularly hydroxytyrosol (HT). HT potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions have attracted researchers' attention and may contribute to neuroprotective effects credited to MD. In this review HT bioavailability and pharmacokinetics are presented prior to discussing health beneficial effects. In vitro and in vivo neuroprotective effects together with its multiple mechanisms of action are reviewed. Other microconstituents of olive oil are also considered due to their potential neuroprotective effects (oleocanthal, triterpenic acids). Finally, we discuss the potential role of HT as a therapeutic tool in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25781069

  2. Glaucoma as a Neurodegenerative Disease: Why We Must 'Look for the Protein'.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Lenworth N

    2016-01-01

    For years, clinicians and scientists interested in glaucoma have focused on the anterior segment of the eye and lowering of the intraocular pressure with respect to glaucoma causes and therapies. Yet glaucoma progresses in many individuals despite lowering the intraocular pressure. Herein, the concept of glaucoma as a neurodegenerative disease is presented. [Full article available at http://rimed.org/rimedicaljournal-2016-06.asp, free with no login]. PMID:27247967

  3. Is membrane homeostasis the missing link between inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases?

    PubMed

    de Groot, Natalia Sánchez; Burgas, Marc Torrent

    2015-12-01

    Systemic inflammation and infections are associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Unfortunately, the molecular bases of this link are still largely undiscovered. We, therefore, review how inflammatory processes can imbalance membrane homeostasis and theorize how this may have an effect on the aggregation behavior of the proteins implicated in such diseases. Specifically, we describe the processes that generate such imbalances at the molecular level, and try to understand how they affect protein folding and localization. Overall, current knowledge suggests that microglia pro-inflammatory mediators can generate membrane damage, which may have an impact in terms of triggering or accelerating disease manifestation. PMID:26403788

  4. The emerging use of in vivo optical imaging in the study of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Aileen P; Booth, Stephanie A; Saba, Reuben

    2014-01-01

    The detection and subsequent quantification of photons emitted from living tissues, using highly sensitive charged-couple device (CCD) cameras, have enabled investigators to noninvasively examine the intricate dynamics of molecular reactions in wide assortment of experimental animals under basal and pathophysiological conditions. Nevertheless, extrapolation of this in vivo optical imaging technology to the study of the mammalian brain and related neurodegenerative conditions is still in its infancy. In this review, we introduce the reader to the emerging use of in vivo optical imaging in the study of neurodegenerative diseases. We highlight the current instrumentation that is available and reporter molecules (fluorescent and bioluminescent) that are commonly used. Moreover, we examine how in vivo optical imaging using transgenic reporter mice has provided new insights into Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Prion disease, and neuronal damage arising from excitotoxicity and inflammation. Furthermore, we also touch upon studies that have utilized these technologies for the development of therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative conditions that afflict humans. PMID:25147799

  5. The Emerging Use of In Vivo Optical Imaging in the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Stephanie A.; Saba, Reuben

    2014-01-01

    The detection and subsequent quantification of photons emitted from living tissues, using highly sensitive charged-couple device (CCD) cameras, have enabled investigators to noninvasively examine the intricate dynamics of molecular reactions in wide assortment of experimental animals under basal and pathophysiological conditions. Nevertheless, extrapolation of this in vivo optical imaging technology to the study of the mammalian brain and related neurodegenerative conditions is still in its infancy. In this review, we introduce the reader to the emerging use of in vivo optical imaging in the study of neurodegenerative diseases. We highlight the current instrumentation that is available and reporter molecules (fluorescent and bioluminescent) that are commonly used. Moreover, we examine how in vivo optical imaging using transgenic reporter mice has provided new insights into Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Prion disease, and neuronal damage arising from excitotoxicity and inflammation. Furthermore, we also touch upon studies that have utilized these technologies for the development of therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative conditions that afflict humans. PMID:25147799

  6. Determination of the olfactory threshold using a piezoelectric microdispenser for neurodegenerative disease diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, David B.; Taylor, David; Antohe, Bogdan V.; Achiriloaie, Ioan; Comparini, Norman; Stewart, R. Malcolm; Sanghera, Manjit K.

    2006-11-01

    Ink-jet microdispensing technology was used to develop an instrument for the quantitative determination of the olfactory threshold. An electrical pulse applied to the piezoelectric element produces a deformation that is transmitted to the fluid which results in a drop of fluid being ejected through the orifice mounted at one end of a piezoelectric tube. An electronic console actuates the piezoelectric dispensing elements and controls the number of drops that are dispensed and evaporated to create a fragrance cloud. The number of drops that are generated, evaporated and presented to the patient's nose for detection is adjusted according to a preset algorithm until the patient's threshold is discovered. Neurodegenerative disease patients tested with the developed olfactometer showed a significant elevation of their olfactory threshold as compared to normal controls. This result agrees with literature studies that indicate the sense of smell is one of the first affected by neurodegenerative disease. Through its precise control and detection capability, the digital olfactometer described in this paper can be used as an early screening tool for neurodegenerative disease through olfactory threshold determination.

  7. Potentiated Hsp104 variants suppress toxicity of diverse neurodegenerative disease-linked proteins.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2014-10-01

    Protein misfolding is implicated in numerous lethal neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson disease (PD). There are no therapies that reverse these protein-misfolding events. We aim to apply Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ protein from yeast, to target misfolded conformers for reactivation. Hsp104 solubilizes disordered aggregates and amyloid, but has limited activity against human neurodegenerative disease proteins. Thus, we have previously engineered potentiated Hsp104 variants that suppress aggregation, proteotoxicity and restore proper protein localization of ALS and PD proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and mitigate neurodegeneration in an animal PD model. Here, we establish that potentiated Hsp104 variants possess broad substrate specificity and, in yeast, suppress toxicity and aggregation induced by wild-type TDP-43, FUS and α-synuclein, as well as missense mutant versions of these proteins that cause neurodegenerative disease. Potentiated Hsp104 variants also rescue toxicity and aggregation of TAF15 but not EWSR1, two RNA-binding proteins with a prion-like domain that are connected with the development of ALS and frontotemporal dementia. Thus, potentiated Hsp104 variants are not entirely non-specific. Indeed, they do not unfold just any natively folded protein. Rather, potentiated Hsp104 variants are finely tuned to unfold proteins bearing short unstructured tracts that are not recognized by wild-type Hsp104. Our studies establish the broad utility of potentiated Hsp104 variants. PMID:25062688

  8. Genistein Improves Neuropathology and Corrects Behaviour in a Mouse Model of Neurodegenerative Metabolic Disease

    PubMed Central

    Langford-Smith, Kia J.; Langford-Smith, Alex; Brown, Jillian R.; Crawford, Brett E.; Vanier, Marie T.; Grynkiewicz, Grzegorz; Wynn, Rob F.; Wraith, J. Ed; Wegrzyn, Grzegorz; Bigger, Brian W.

    2010-01-01

    Background Neurodegenerative metabolic disorders such as mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB (MPSIIIB or Sanfilippo disease) accumulate undegraded substrates in the brain and are often unresponsive to enzyme replacement treatments due to the impermeability of the blood brain barrier to enzyme. MPSIIIB is characterised by behavioural difficulties, cognitive and later motor decline, with death in the second decade of life. Most of these neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases lack effective treatments. We recently described significant reductions of accumulated heparan sulphate substrate in liver of a mouse model of MPSIIIB using the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein. Methodology/Principal Findings We report here that high doses of genistein aglycone, given continuously over a 9 month period to MPSIIIB mice, significantly reduce lysosomal storage, heparan sulphate substrate and neuroinflammation in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, resulting in correction of the behavioural defects observed. Improvements in synaptic vesicle protein expression and secondary storage in the cerebral cortex were also observed. Conclusions/Significance Genistein may prove useful as a substrate reduction agent to delay clinical onset of MPSIIIB and, due to its multimodal action, may provide a treatment adjunct for several other neurodegenerative metabolic diseases. PMID:21152017

  9. Visual Hallucinations in the Psychosis Spectrum and Comparative Information From Neurodegenerative Disorders and Eye Disease

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Flavie; Collerton, Daniel; ffytche, Dominic H.; Jardri, Renaud; Pins, Delphine; Dudley, Robert; Blom, Jan Dirk; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Eperjesi, Frank; Ford, Stephen; Larøi, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Much of the research on visual hallucinations (VHs) has been conducted in the context of eye disease and neurodegenerative conditions, but little is known about these phenomena in psychiatric and nonclinical populations. The purpose of this article is to bring together current knowledge regarding VHs in the psychosis phenotype and contrast this data with the literature drawn from neurodegenerative disorders and eye disease. The evidence challenges the traditional views that VHs are atypical or uncommon in psychosis. The weighted mean for VHs is 27% in schizophrenia, 15% in affective psychosis, and 7.3% in the general community. VHs are linked to a more severe psychopathological profile and less favorable outcome in psychosis and neurodegenerative conditions. VHs typically co-occur with auditory hallucinations, suggesting a common etiological cause. VHs in psychosis are also remarkably complex, negative in content, and are interpreted to have personal relevance. The cognitive mechanisms of VHs in psychosis have rarely been investigated, but existing studies point to source-monitoring deficits and distortions in top-down mechanisms, although evidence for visual processing deficits, which feature strongly in the organic literature, is lacking. Brain imaging studies point to the activation of visual cortex during hallucinations on a background of structural and connectivity changes within wider brain networks. The relationship between VHs in psychosis, eye disease, and neurodegeneration remains unclear, although the pattern of similarities and differences described in this review suggests that comparative studies may have potentially important clinical and theoretical implications. PMID:24936084

  10. Head trauma in sport and neurodegenerative disease: an issue whose time has come?

    PubMed

    Pearce, Neil; Gallo, Valentina; McElvenny, Damien

    2015-03-01

    A number of small studies and anecdotal reports have been suggested that sports involving repeated head trauma may have long-term risks of neurodegenerative disease. There are now plausible mechanisms for these effects, and a recognition that these problems do not just occur in former boxers, but in a variety of sports involving repeated concussions, and possibly also in sports in which low-level head trauma is common. These neurodegenerative effects potentially include increased risks of impaired cognitive function and dementia, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Many would argue for taking a precautionary approach and immediately banning or restricting sports such as boxing. However, there are important public health issues in terms of how wide the net should be cast in terms of other sports, and what remedial measures could be taken? This in turn requires a major research effort involving both clinical and basic research to understand the underlying mechanisms, leading from head trauma to neurodegenerative disease and epidemiologic studies to assess the long-term consequences. PMID:25725943

  11. Small-Molecule Theranostic Probes: A Promising Future in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Aulić, Suzana

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative illnesses, which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and scrapie, chronic wasting disease, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in animals. They are caused by unconventional infectious agents consisting primarily of misfolded, aggregated, β-sheet-rich isoforms, denoted prions, of the physiological cellular prion protein (PrPC). Many lines of evidence suggest that prions (PrPSc) act both as a template for this conversion and as a neurotoxic agent causing neuronal dysfunction and cell death. As such, PrPSc may be considered as both a neuropathological hallmark of the disease and a therapeutic target. Several diagnostic imaging probes have been developed to monitor cerebral amyloid lesions in patients with neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prion disease). Examples of these probes are Congo red, thioflavin T, and their derivatives. We synthesized a series of styryl derivatives, denoted theranostics, and studied their therapeutic and/or diagnostic potentials. Here we review the salient traits of these small molecules that are able to detect and modulate aggregated forms of several proteins involved in protein misfolding diseases. We then highlight the importance of further studies for their practical implications in therapy and diagnostics. PMID:24324497

  12. The Enemy within: Innate Surveillance-Mediated Cell Death, the Common Mechanism of Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Robert I.; Robertson, Sarah A.; O'Keefe, Louise V.; Fornarino, Dani; Scott, Andrew; Lardelli, Michael; Baune, Bernhard T.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases comprise an array of progressive neurological disorders all characterized by the selective death of neurons in the central nervous system. Although, rare (familial) and common (sporadic) forms can occur for the same disease, it is unclear whether this reflects several distinct pathogenic pathways or the convergence of different causes into a common form of nerve cell death. Remarkably, neurodegenerative diseases are increasingly found to be accompanied by activation of the innate immune surveillance system normally associated with pathogen recognition and response. Innate surveillance is the cell's quality control system for the purpose of detecting such danger signals and responding in an appropriate manner. Innate surveillance is an “intelligent system,” in that the manner of response is relevant to the magnitude and duration of the threat. If possible, the threat is dealt with within the cell in which it is detected, by degrading the danger signal(s) and restoring homeostasis. If this is not successful then an inflammatory response is instigated that is aimed at restricting the spread of the threat by elevating degradative pathways, sensitizing neighboring cells, and recruiting specialized cell types to the site. If the danger signal persists, then the ultimate response can include not only the programmed cell death of the original cell, but the contents of this dead cell can also bring about the death of adjacent sensitized cells. These responses are clearly aimed at destroying the ability of the detected pathogen to propagate and spread. Innate surveillance comprises intracellular, extracellular, non-cell autonomous and systemic processes. Recent studies have revealed how multiple steps in these processes involve proteins that, through their mutation, have been linked to many familial forms of neurodegenerative disease. This suggests that individuals harboring these mutations may have an amplified response to innate

  13. Computational Modelling Approaches on Epigenetic Factors in Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases and Their Mechanistic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Khanam Irin, Afroza; Tom Kodamullil, Alpha; Gündel, Michaela; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative as well as autoimmune diseases have unclear aetiologies, but an increasing number of evidences report for a combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations that predispose for the development of disease. This review examines the major milestones in epigenetics research in the context of diseases and various computational approaches developed in the last decades to unravel new epigenetic modifications. However, there are limited studies that systematically link genetic and epigenetic alterations of DNA to the aetiology of diseases. In this work, we demonstrate how disease-related epigenetic knowledge can be systematically captured and integrated with heterogeneous information into a functional context using Biological Expression Language (BEL). This novel methodology, based on BEL, enables us to integrate epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation or acetylation of histones into a specific disease network. As an example, we depict the integration of epigenetic and genetic factors in a functional context specific to Parkinson's disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). PMID:26636108

  14. A knowledge based approach to matching human neurodegenerative disease and animal models

    PubMed Central

    Maynard, Sarah M.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Lewis, Suzanna E.; Imam, Fahim T.; Martone, Maryann E.

    2013-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases present a wide and complex range of biological and clinical features. Animal models are key to translational research, yet typically only exhibit a subset of disease features rather than being precise replicas of the disease. Consequently, connecting animal to human conditions using direct data-mining strategies has proven challenging, particularly for diseases of the nervous system, with its complicated anatomy and physiology. To address this challenge we have explored the use of ontologies to create formal descriptions of structural phenotypes across scales that are machine processable and amenable to logical inference. As proof of concept, we built a Neurodegenerative Disease Phenotype Ontology (NDPO) and an associated Phenotype Knowledge Base (PKB) using an entity-quality model that incorporates descriptions for both human disease phenotypes and those of animal models. Entities are drawn from community ontologies made available through the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) and qualities are drawn from the Phenotype and Trait Ontology (PATO). We generated ~1200 structured phenotype statements describing structural alterations at the subcellular, cellular and gross anatomical levels observed in 11 human neurodegenerative conditions and associated animal models. PhenoSim, an open source tool for comparing phenotypes, was used to issue a series of competency questions to compare individual phenotypes among organisms and to determine which animal models recapitulate phenotypic aspects of the human disease in aggregate. Overall, the system was able to use relationships within the ontology to bridge phenotypes across scales, returning non-trivial matches based on common subsumers that were meaningful to a neuroscientist with an advanced knowledge of neuroanatomy. The system can be used both to compare individual phenotypes and also phenotypes in aggregate. This proof of concept suggests that expressing complex phenotypes using formal

  15. The role of macropinocytosis in the propagation of protein aggregation associated with neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zeineddine, Rafaa; Yerbury, Justin J.

    2015-01-01

    With the onset of the rapidly aging population, the impact of age related neurodegenerative diseases is becoming a predominant health and economic concern. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) result from the loss of a specific subsets of neurons, which is closely associated with accumulation and deposition of specific protein aggregates. Protein aggregation, or fibril formation, is a well-studied phenomenon that occurs in a nucleation-dependent growth reaction. Recently, there has been a swell of literature implicating protein aggregation and its ability to propagate cell-to-cell in the rapid progression of these diseases. In order for protein aggregation to be kindled in recipient cells it is a requisite that aggregates must be able to be released from one cell and then taken up by others. In this article we will explore the relationship between protein aggregates, their propagation and the role of macropinocytosis in their uptake. We highlight the ability of neurons to undergo stimulated macropinocytosis and identify potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26528186

  16. Analysis of optical neural stimulation effects on neural networks affected by neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zverev, M.; Fanjul-Vélez, F.; Salas-García, I.; Ortega-Quijano, N.; Arce-Diego, J. L.

    2016-03-01

    The number of people in risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease increases as the life expectancy grows due to medical advances. Multiple techniques have been developed to improve patient's condition, from pharmacological to invasive electrodes approaches, but no definite cure has yet been discovered. In this work Optical Neural Stimulation (ONS) has been studied. ONS stimulates noninvasively the outer regions of the brain, mainly the neocortex. The relationship between the stimulation parameters and the therapeutic response is not totally clear. In order to find optimal ONS parameters to treat a particular neurodegenerative disease, mathematical modeling is necessary. Neural networks models have been employed to study the neural spiking activity change induced by ONS. Healthy and pathological neocortical networks have been considered to study the required stimulation to restore the normal activity. The network consisted of a group of interconnected neurons, which were assigned 2D spatial coordinates. The optical stimulation spatial profile was assumed to be Gaussian. The stimulation effects were modeled as synaptic current increases in the affected neurons, proportional to the stimulation fluence. Pathological networks were defined as the healthy ones with some neurons being inactivated, which presented no synaptic conductance. Neurons' electrical activity was also studied in the frequency domain, focusing specially on the changes of the spectral bands corresponding to brain waves. The complete model could be used to determine the optimal ONS parameters in order to achieve the specific neural spiking patterns or the required local neural activity increase to treat particular neurodegenerative pathologies.

  17. Biology of Parkinson's disease: pathogenesis and pathophysiology of a multisystem neurodegenerative disorder

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Garrett E.

    2004-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common movement disorder. The characteristic motor impairments - bradykinesia, rigidity, and resting tremor - result from degenerative loss of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra, and are responsive to symptomatic treatment with dopaminergic medications and functional neurosurgery. PD is also the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. Viewed from this perspective, PD is a disorder of multiple functional systems, not simply the motor system, and of multiple neurotransmitter systems, not merely that of DA. The characteristic pathology - intraneuronal Lewy body inclusions and reduced numbers of surviving neurons - is similar in each of the targeted neuron groups, suggesting a common neurodegenerative process. Pathological and experimental studies indicate that oxidative stress, proteolytic stress, and inflammation figure prominently in the pathogenesis of PD. Yet, whether any of these mechanisms plays a causal role in human PD is unknown, because to date we have no proven neuroprotective therapies that slow or reverse disease progression in patients with PD. We are beginning to understand the pathophysiology of motor dysfunction in PD, but its etiopathogenesis as a neurodegenerative disorder remains poorly understood. PMID:22033559

  18. The Role of MAPT in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Genetics, Mechanisms and Therapy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Cheng-Cheng; Xing, Ang; Tan, Meng-Shan; Tan, Lan; Yu, Jin-Tai

    2016-09-01

    Microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) is a gene responsible for encoding tau protein, which is tightly implicated in keeping the function of microtubules and axonal transport. Hyperphosphorylated tau protein participates in the formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which characterize many neurodegenerative disorders termed tauopathies. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have demonstrated numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in MAPT associated with various neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, it has been presumed that MAPT plays a crucial role in pathogenesis of neurodegeneration via affecting the structure and function of tau. Here, we review the advanced studies to summarize the biochemical properties of MAPT and its encoded protein, as well as the genetics and epigenetics of MAPT in neurodegeneration. Finally, given the potential mechanisms of MAPT to neurodegeneration pathogenesis, targeting MAPT and tau might present significant treatments of MAPT mutation-related neurodegeneration. Affirmatively, the identification of MAPT is extremely beneficial for improving our understanding of the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases and developing the mechanism-based therapies. PMID:26363795

  19. IFI16, an amplifier of DNA-damage response: Role in cellular senescence and aging-associated inflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Choubey, Divaker; Panchanathan, Ravichandran

    2016-07-01

    DNA-damage induces a DNA-damage response (DDR) in mammalian cells. The response, depending upon the cell-type and the extent of DNA-damage, ultimately results in cell death or cellular senescence. DDR-induced signaling in cells activates the ATM-p53 and ATM-IKKα/β-interferon (IFN)-β signaling pathways, thus leading to an induction of the p53 and IFN-inducible IFI16 gene. Further, upon DNA-damage, DNA accumulates in the cytoplasm, thereby inducing the IFI16 protein and STING-dependent IFN-β production and activation of the IFI16 inflammasome, resulting in the production of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-1β and IL-18). Increased expression of IFI16 protein in a variety of cell-types promotes cellular senescence. However, reduced expression of IFI16 in cells promotes cell proliferation. Because expression of the IFI16 gene is induced by activation of DNA-damage response in cells and increased levels of IFI16 protein in cells potentiate the p53-mediated transcriptional activation of genes and p53 and pRb-mediated cell cycle arrest, we discuss how an improved understanding of the role of IFI16 protein in cellular senescence and associated inflammatory secretory phenotype is likely to identify the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of aging-associated human inflammatory diseases and a failure to cancer therapy. PMID:27063514

  20. Mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in neurodegenerative diseases through nitroxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Akbar, Mohammed; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Daradkeh, Ghazi; Abdelmegeed, Mohamed A; Choi, Youngshim; Mahmood, Lubna; Song, Byoung-Joon

    2016-04-15

    Mitochondria are important for providing cellular energy ATP through the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. They are also critical in regulating many cellular functions including the fatty acid oxidation, the metabolism of glutamate and urea, the anti-oxidant defense, and the apoptosis pathway. Mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species leaked from the electron transport chain while they are susceptible to oxidative damage, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue injury. In fact, impaired mitochondrial function is commonly observed in many types of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson׳s disease, Huntington׳s disease, alcoholic dementia, brain ischemia-reperfusion related injury, and others, although many of these neurological disorders have unique etiological factors. Mitochondrial dysfunction under many pathological conditions is likely to be promoted by increased nitroxidative stress, which can stimulate post-translational modifications (PTMs) of mitochondrial proteins and/or oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and lipids. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that various antioxidants, including naturally occurring flavonoids and polyphenols as well as synthetic compounds, can block the formation of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species, and thus ultimately prevent the PTMs of many proteins with improved disease conditions. Therefore, the present review is aimed to describe the recent research developments in the molecular mechanisms for mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue injury in neurodegenerative diseases and discuss translational research opportunities. PMID:26883165

  1. Degradation of misfolded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases: therapeutic targets and strategies

    PubMed Central

    Ciechanover, Aaron; Kwon, Yong Tae

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian cells remove misfolded proteins using various proteolytic systems, including the ubiquitin (Ub)-proteasome system (UPS), chaperone mediated autophagy (CMA) and macroautophagy. The majority of misfolded proteins are degraded by the UPS, in which Ub-conjugated substrates are deubiquitinated, unfolded and cleaved into small peptides when passing through the narrow chamber of the proteasome. The substrates that expose a specific degradation signal, the KFERQ sequence motif, can be delivered to and degraded in lysosomes via the CMA. Aggregation-prone substrates resistant to both the UPS and the CMA can be degraded by macroautophagy, in which cargoes are segregated into autophagosomes before degradation by lysosomal hydrolases. Although most misfolded and aggregated proteins in the human proteome can be degraded by cellular protein quality control, some native and mutant proteins prone to aggregation into β-sheet-enriched oligomers are resistant to all known proteolytic pathways and can thus grow into inclusion bodies or extracellular plaques. The accumulation of protease-resistant misfolded and aggregated proteins is a common mechanism underlying protein misfolding disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease (HD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), prion diseases and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In this review, we provide an overview of the proteolytic pathways in neurons, with an emphasis on the UPS, CMA and macroautophagy, and discuss the role of protein quality control in the degradation of pathogenic proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we examine existing putative therapeutic strategies to efficiently remove cytotoxic proteins from degenerating neurons. PMID:25766616

  2. Precision Modulation of Neurodegenerative Disease-Related Gene Expression in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons.

    PubMed

    Heman-Ackah, Sabrina Mahalia; Bassett, Andrew Roger; Wood, Matthew John Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The ability to reprogram adult somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the subsequent development of protocols for their differentiation into disease-relevant cell types have enabled in-depth molecular analyses of multiple disease states as hitherto impossible. Neurons differentiated from patient-specific iPSCs provide a means to recapitulate molecular phenotypes of neurodegenerative diseases in vitro. However, it remains challenging to conduct precise manipulations of gene expression in iPSC-derived neurons towards modeling complex human neurological diseases. The application of CRISPR/Cas9 to mammalian systems is revolutionizing the utilization of genome editing technologies in the study of molecular contributors to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Here, we demonstrate that CRISPRa and CRISPRi can be used to exert precise modulations of endogenous gene expression in fate-committed iPSC-derived neurons. This highlights CRISPRa/i as a major technical advancement in accessible tools for evaluating the specific contributions of critical neurodegenerative disease-related genes to neuropathogenesis. PMID:27341390

  3. Precision Modulation of Neurodegenerative Disease-Related Gene Expression in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Heman-Ackah, Sabrina Mahalia; Bassett, Andrew Roger; Wood, Matthew John Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The ability to reprogram adult somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the subsequent development of protocols for their differentiation into disease-relevant cell types have enabled in-depth molecular analyses of multiple disease states as hitherto impossible. Neurons differentiated from patient-specific iPSCs provide a means to recapitulate molecular phenotypes of neurodegenerative diseases in vitro. However, it remains challenging to conduct precise manipulations of gene expression in iPSC-derived neurons towards modeling complex human neurological diseases. The application of CRISPR/Cas9 to mammalian systems is revolutionizing the utilization of genome editing technologies in the study of molecular contributors to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Here, we demonstrate that CRISPRa and CRISPRi can be used to exert precise modulations of endogenous gene expression in fate-committed iPSC-derived neurons. This highlights CRISPRa/i as a major technical advancement in accessible tools for evaluating the specific contributions of critical neurodegenerative disease-related genes to neuropathogenesis. PMID:27341390

  4. Multi-Channel neurodegenerative pattern analysis and its application in Alzheimer's disease characterization

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sidong; Cai, Weidong; Wen, Lingfeng; Feng, David Dagan; Pujol, Sonia; Kikinis, Ron; Fulham, Michael J.; Eberl, Stefan; ADNI

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging has played an important role in non-invasive diagnosis and differentiation of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Various features have been extracted from the neuroimaging data to characterize the disorders, and these features can be roughly divided into global and local features. Recent studies show a tendency of using local features in disease characterization, since they are capable of identifying the subtle disease-specific patterns associated with the effects of the disease on human brain. However, problems arise if the neuroimaging database involved multiple disorders or progressive disorders, as disorders of different types or at different progressive stages might exhibit different degenerative patterns. It is difficult for the researchers to reach consensus on what brain regions could effectively distinguish multiple disorders or multiple progression stages. In this study we proposed a Multi-Channel pattern analysis approach to identify the most discriminative local brain metabolism features for neurodegenerative disorder characterization. We compared our method to global methods and other pattern analysis methods based on clinical expertise or statistics tests. The preliminary results suggested that the proposed Multi-Channel pattern analysis method outperformed other approaches in Alzheimer's disease characterization, and meanwhile provided important insights into the underlying pathology of Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. PMID:24933011

  5. [Changes in olfaction during ageing and in certain neurodegenerative diseases: up-to-date].

    PubMed

    Bianchi, A-J; Guépet-Sordet, H; Manckoundia, P

    2015-01-01

    Olfaction is a complex sensory system, and increasing interest is being shown in the link between olfaction and cognition, notably in the elderly. In this literature review, we revisit the specific neurophysiological features of the olfactory system and odorants that lead to a durable olfactory memory and an emotional memory, for which the implicit component produces subconscious olfactory conditioning. Olfaction is known to affect cognitive abilities and mood. We also consider the impairment of olfactory function due to ageing and to neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, through anatomopathological changes in the peripheral and central olfactory structures. The high frequency of these olfactory disorders as well as their early occurrence in Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease are in favour of their clinical detection in subjects suffering from these two neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we analyse the impact of olfactory stimulation on cognitive performance and attention. Current observational data from studies in elderly patients with Alzheimer-type dementia are limited to multiple sensory stimulation methods, such as the Snoezelen method, and aromatherapy. These therapies have shown benefits for dementia-related mood and behaviour disorders in the short term, with few side effects. Since olfactory chemosensory stimulation may be beneficial, it may be proposed in patients with dementia, especially Alzheimer-type dementia, as a complementary or even alternative therapy to existing medical strategies. PMID:25304170

  6. Modulation of the Kynurenine Pathway for the Potential Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courtney, Stephen; Scheel, Andreas

    Modulation of tryptophan metabolism and in particular the kynurenine pathway is of considerable interest in the discovery of potential new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of small molecule inhibitors of the kynurenine metabolic pathway enzymes have been identified over recent years; a summary of these and their utility has been reviewed in this chapter. In particular, inhibitors of kynurenine monooxygenase represent an opportunity to develop a therapy for Huntington's disease; progress in the optimization of small molecule inhibitors of this enzyme is also described.

  7. Epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are experiencing rapid transitions with increased life expectancy. As a result the burden of age-related conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases might be increasing. We conducted a systematic review of published studies on common neurodegenerative diseases, and HIV-related neurocognitive impairment in SSA, in order to identify research gaps and inform prevention and control solutions. Methods We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, ‘Banque de Données de Santé Publique’ and the database of the ‘Institut d’Epidemiologie Neurologique et de Neurologie Tropicale’ from inception to February 2013 for published original studies from SSA on neurodegenerative diseases and HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. Screening and data extraction were conducted by two investigators. Bibliographies and citations of eligible studies were investigated. Results In all 144 publications reporting on dementia (n = 49 publications, mainly Alzheimer disease), Parkinsonism (PD, n = 20), HIV-related neurocognitive impairment (n = 47), Huntington disease (HD, n = 19), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, n = 15), cerebellar degeneration (n = 4) and Lewy body dementia (n = 1). Of these studies, largely based on prevalent cases from retrospective data on urban populations, half originated from Nigeria and South Africa. The prevalence of dementia (Alzheimer disease) varied between <1% and 10.1% (0.7% and 5.6%) in population-based studies and from <1% to 47.8% in hospital-based studies. Incidence of dementia (Alzheimer disease) ranged from 8.7 to 21.8/1000/year (9.5 to 11.1), and major risk factors were advanced age and female sex. HIV-related neurocognitive impairment’s prevalence (all from hospital-based studies) ranged from <1% to 80%. Population-based prevalence of PD and ALS varied from 10 to 235/100,000, and from 5 to 15/100,000 respectively while that for Huntington disease was 3.5/100,000. Equivalent

  8. Applications of Surface Plasmon Resonance for Characterization of Molecules Important in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wittenberg, Nathan J.; Wootla, Bharath; Jordan, Luke R.; Denic, Aleksandar; Warrington, Arthur E.; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Rodriguez, Moses

    2014-01-01

    Characterization of binding kinetics and affinity between a potential new drug and its receptor are key steps in the development of new drugs. Among the techniques available to determine binding affinities, surface plasmon resonance has emerged as the gold standard because it can measure binding and dissociation rates in real-time in a label-free fashion. Surface plasmon resonance is now finding applications in the characterization of molecules for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, characterization of molecules associated with pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and detection of neurodegenerative disease biomarkers. In addition it has been used in the characterization of a new class of natural autoantibodies that have therapeutic potential in a number of neurologic diseases. In this review we will introduce surface plasmon resonance and describe some applications of the technique that pertain to neurodegenerative disorders and their treatment. PMID:24625008

  9. Applications of SPR for the characterization of molecules important in the pathogenesis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Wittenberg, Nathan J; Wootla, Bharath; Jordan, Luke R; Denic, Aleksandar; Warrington, Arthur E; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Rodriguez, Moses

    2014-04-01

    Characterization of binding kinetics and affinity between a potential drug and its receptor are key steps in the development of new drugs. Among the techniques available to determine binding affinities, surface plasmon resonance has emerged as the gold standard because it can measure binding and dissociation rates in real-time in a label-free fashion. Surface plasmon resonance is now finding applications in the characterization of molecules for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, characterization of molecules associated with pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and detection of neurodegenerative disease biomarkers. In addition it has been used in the characterization of a new class of natural autoantibodies that have therapeutic potential in a number of neurologic diseases. In this review we will introduce surface plasmon resonance and describe some applications of the technique that pertain to neurodegenerative disorders and their treatment. PMID:24625008

  10. The Central Biobank and Virtual Biobank of BIOMARKAPD: A Resource for Studies on Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Reijs, Babette L R; Teunissen, Charlotte E; Goncharenko, Nikolai; Betsou, Fay; Blennow, Kaj; Baldeiras, Inês; Brosseron, Frederic; Cavedo, Enrica; Fladby, Tormod; Froelich, Lutz; Gabryelewicz, Tomasz; Gurvit, Hakan; Kapaki, Elisabeth; Koson, Peter; Kulic, Luka; Lehmann, Sylvain; Lewczuk, Piotr; Lleó, Alberto; Maetzler, Walter; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Miller, Anne-Marie; Molinuevo, José L; Mollenhauer, Brit; Parnetti, Lucilla; Rot, Uros; Schneider, Anja; Simonsen, Anja Hviid; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Tsolaki, Magda; Verbeek, Marcel M; Verhey, Frans R J; Zboch, Marzena; Winblad, Bengt; Scheltens, Philip; Zetterberg, Henrik; Visser, Pieter Jelle

    2015-01-01

    Biobanks are important resources for biomarker discovery and assay development. Biomarkers for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease (BIOMARKAPD) is a European multicenter study, funded by the EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Disease Research, which aims to improve the clinical use of body fluid markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). The objective was to standardize the assessment of existing assays and to validate novel fluid biomarkers for AD and PD. To support the validation of novel biomarkers and assays, a central and a virtual biobank for body fluids and associated data from subjects with neurodegenerative diseases have been established. In the central biobank, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples were collected according to the BIOMARKAPD standardized pre-analytical procedures and stored at Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg. The virtual biobank provides an overview of available CSF, plasma, serum, and DNA samples at each site. Currently, at the central biobank of BIOMARKAPD samples are available from over 400 subjects with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), vascular dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, PD, PD with dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. The virtual biobank contains information on over 8,600 subjects with varying diagnoses from 21 local biobanks. A website has been launched to enable sample requests from the central biobank and virtual biobank. PMID:26528237

  11. Recent advances in iPSC technologies involving cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease modeling.

    PubMed

    Csöbönyeiová, Mária; Danišovič, Ľuboš; Polák, Štefan

    2016-01-01

    Cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases are the most common health threats in developed countries. Limited cell derivation and cell number in cardiac tissue makes it difficult to study the cardiovascular disease using the existing cardiac cell model. Regarding the neurodegenerative disorders, the most potential sources of cell therapeutics such as fetal-derived primary neurons and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are associated with ethical or technical limitations. The successful derivation of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by de-differentiation of somatic cells offers significant potential to overcome hurdles in the field of the replacement therapy. Human iPSCs are functionally similar to human embryonic stem cells, and can be derived autologously without the ethical challenges associated with human ESCs. The iPSCs can, in turn, be differentiated into all cell types including neurons, cardiac cells, blood and liver cells, etc. Recently, target tissues derived from human iPSCs such as cardiomyocytes (CMs) or neurons have been used for new disease modeling and regenerative medicine therapies. Diseases models could be advantageous in the development of personalized medicine of various pathological conditions. This paper reviews efforts aimed at both the practical development of iPSCs, differentiation to neural/cardiac lineages, and the further use of these iPSCs-derived cells for disease modeling, as well as drug toxicity testing. PMID:26492069

  12. Overnutrition Determines LPS Regulation of Mycotoxin Induced Neurotoxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Ian James

    2015-01-01

    Chronic neurodegenerative diseases are now associated with obesity and diabetes and linked to the developing and developed world. Interests in healthy diets have escalated that may prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The global metabolic syndrome involves lipoprotein abnormalities and insulin resistance and is the major disorder for induction of neurological disease. The effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on dyslipidemia and NAFLD indicate that the clearance and metabolism of fungal mycotoxins are linked to hypercholesterolemia and amyloid beta oligomers. LPS and mycotoxins are associated with membrane lipid disturbances with effects on cholesterol interacting proteins, lipoprotein metabolism, and membrane apo E/amyloid beta interactions relevant to hypercholesterolemia with close connections to neurological diseases. The influence of diet on mycotoxin metabolism has accelerated with the close association between mycotoxin contamination from agricultural products such as apple juice, grains, alcohol, and coffee. Cholesterol efflux in lipoproteins and membrane cholesterol are determined by LPS with involvement of mycotoxin on amyloid beta metabolism. Nutritional interventions such as diets low in fat/carbohydrate/cholesterol have become of interest with relevance to low absorption of lipophilic LPS and mycotoxin into lipoproteins with rapid metabolism of mycotoxin to the liver with the prevention of neurodegeneration. PMID:26690419

  13. The Central Biobank and Virtual Biobank of BIOMARKAPD: A Resource for Studies on Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Reijs, Babette L. R.; Teunissen, Charlotte E.; Goncharenko, Nikolai; Betsou, Fay; Blennow, Kaj; Baldeiras, Inês; Brosseron, Frederic; Cavedo, Enrica; Fladby, Tormod; Froelich, Lutz; Gabryelewicz, Tomasz; Gurvit, Hakan; Kapaki, Elisabeth; Koson, Peter; Kulic, Luka; Lehmann, Sylvain; Lewczuk, Piotr; Lleó, Alberto; Maetzler, Walter; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Miller, Anne-Marie; Molinuevo, José L.; Mollenhauer, Brit; Parnetti, Lucilla; Rot, Uros; Schneider, Anja; Simonsen, Anja Hviid; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Tsolaki, Magda; Verbeek, Marcel M.; Verhey, Frans R. J.; Zboch, Marzena; Winblad, Bengt; Scheltens, Philip; Zetterberg, Henrik; Visser, Pieter Jelle

    2015-01-01

    Biobanks are important resources for biomarker discovery and assay development. Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (BIOMARKAPD) is a European multicenter study, funded by the EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Disease Research, which aims to improve the clinical use of body fluid markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The objective was to standardize the assessment of existing assays and to validate novel fluid biomarkers for AD and PD. To support the validation of novel biomarkers and assays, a central and a virtual biobank for body fluids and associated data from subjects with neurodegenerative diseases have been established. In the central biobank, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples were collected according to the BIOMARKAPD standardized pre-analytical procedures and stored at Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg. The virtual biobank provides an overview of available CSF, plasma, serum, and DNA samples at each site. Currently, at the central biobank of BIOMARKAPD samples are available from over 400 subjects with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), vascular dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, PD, PD with dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. The virtual biobank contains information on over 8,600 subjects with varying diagnoses from 21 local biobanks. A website has been launched to enable sample requests from the central biobank and virtual biobank. PMID:26528237

  14. Overnutrition Determines LPS Regulation of Mycotoxin Induced Neurotoxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Martins, Ian James

    2015-01-01

    Chronic neurodegenerative diseases are now associated with obesity and diabetes and linked to the developing and developed world. Interests in healthy diets have escalated that may prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The global metabolic syndrome involves lipoprotein abnormalities and insulin resistance and is the major disorder for induction of neurological disease. The effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on dyslipidemia and NAFLD indicate that the clearance and metabolism of fungal mycotoxins are linked to hypercholesterolemia and amyloid beta oligomers. LPS and mycotoxins are associated with membrane lipid disturbances with effects on cholesterol interacting proteins, lipoprotein metabolism, and membrane apo E/amyloid beta interactions relevant to hypercholesterolemia with close connections to neurological diseases. The influence of diet on mycotoxin metabolism has accelerated with the close association between mycotoxin contamination from agricultural products such as apple juice, grains, alcohol, and coffee. Cholesterol efflux in lipoproteins and membrane cholesterol are determined by LPS with involvement of mycotoxin on amyloid beta metabolism. Nutritional interventions such as diets low in fat/carbohydrate/cholesterol have become of interest with relevance to low absorption of lipophilic LPS and mycotoxin into lipoproteins with rapid metabolism of mycotoxin to the liver with the prevention of neurodegeneration. PMID:26690419

  15. Mass spectrometric analysis of protein tyrosine nitration in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Woon-Seok; Kim, Young Jun; Kabir, Mohammad Humayun; Kang, Jeong Won; Ahsan-Ul-Bari, Md; Kim, Kwang Pyo

    2015-01-01

    This review highlights the significance of protein tyrosine nitration (PTN) in signal transduction pathways, the progress achieved in analytical methods, and the implication of nitration in the cellular pathophysiology of aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Although mass spectrometry of nitrated peptides has become a powerful tool for the characterization of nitrated peptides, the low stoichiometry of this modification clearly necessitates the use of affinity chromatography to enrich modified peptides. Analysis of nitropeptides involves identification of endogenous, intact modification as well as chemical conversion of the nitro group to a chemically reactive amine group and further modifications that enable affinity capture and enhance detectability by altering molecular properties. In this review, we focus on the recent progress in chemical derivatization of nitropeptides for enrichment and mass analysis, and for detection and quantification using various analytical tools. PTN participates in physiological processes, such as aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Accumulation of 3-nitrotyrosine has been found to occur during the aging process; this was identified through mass spectrometry. Further, there are several studies implicating the presence of nitrated tyrosine in age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:24889964

  16. Anthropogenic pollutants may increase the incidence of neurodegenerative disease in an aging population.

    PubMed

    Bondy, Stephen C

    2016-02-01

    The current world population contains an ever-increasing increased proportion of the elderly. This is due to global improvements in medical care and access to such care. Thus, a growing incidence of age-related neurodegenerative disorders is to be expected. Increased longevity also allows more time for interaction with adverse environmental factors that have the potential exert a gradual pressure, facilitating the onset of organismic aging. Nearly all neurodegenerative disorders have a relatively minor genetic element and a larger idiopathic component. It is likely that some of the unknown factors promoting neurological disease involve the appearance of some deleterious aspects of senescence, elicited prematurely by low but pervasive levels of toxic materials present in the environment. This review considers the nature of such possible toxicants and how they may hasten neurosenescence. An enhanced rate of emergence of normal age-related changes in the brain can lead to increased incidence of those specific neurological disorders where aging is an essential requirement. In addition, some xenobiotic agents appear to have the capability of engendering specific neurodegenerative disorders and some of these are also considered. PMID:26812399

  17. Cannabinoid receptor signalling in neurodegenerative diseases: a potential role for membrane fluidity disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Maccarrone, M; Bernardi, G; Agrò, A Finazzi; Centonze, D

    2011-01-01

    Type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is the most abundant G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) in the brain. CB1 and its endogenous agonists, the so-called ‘endocannabinoids (eCBs)’, belong to an ancient neurosignalling system that plays important functions in neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. For this reason, research on the therapeutic potential of drugs modulating the endogenous tone of eCBs is very intense. Several GPCRs reside within subdomains of the plasma membranes that contain high concentrations of cholesterol: the lipid rafts. Here, the hypothesis that changes in membrane fluidity alter function of the endocannabinoid system, as well as progression of particular neurodegenerative diseases, is described. To this end, the impact of membrane cholesterol on membrane properties and hence on neurodegenerative diseases, as well as on CB1 signalling in vitro and on CB1-dependent neurotransmission within the striatum, is discussed. Overall, present evidence points to the membrane environment as a critical regulator of signal transduction triggered by CB1, and calls for further studies aimed at better clarifying the contribution of membrane lipids to eCBs signalling. The results of these investigations might be exploited also for the development of novel therapeutics able to combat disorders associated with abnormal activity of CB1. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7 PMID:21323908

  18. Environmental pollutants as risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chin-Chan, Miguel; Navarro-Yepes, Juliana; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer (AD) and Parkinson (PD) have attracted attention in last decades due to their high incidence worldwide. The etiology of these diseases is still unclear; however the role of the environment as a putative risk factor has gained importance. More worryingly is the evidence that pre- and post-natal exposures to environmental factors predispose to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases in later life. Neurotoxic metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium and arsenic, as well as some pesticides and metal-based nanoparticles have been involved in AD due to their ability to increase beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide and the phosphorylation of Tau protein (P-Tau), causing senile/amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) characteristic of AD. The exposure to lead, manganese, solvents and some pesticides has been related to hallmarks of PD such as mitochondrial dysfunction, alterations in metal homeostasis and aggregation of proteins such as α-synuclein (α-syn), which is a key constituent of Lewy bodies (LB), a crucial factor in PD pathogenesis. Common mechanisms of environmental pollutants to increase Aβ, P-Tau, α-syn and neuronal death have been reported, including the oxidative stress mainly involved in the increase of Aβ and α-syn, and the reduced activity/protein levels of Aβ degrading enzyme (IDE)s such as neprilysin or insulin IDE. In addition, epigenetic mechanisms by maternal nutrient supplementation and exposure to heavy metals and pesticides have been proposed to lead phenotypic diversity and susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses data from epidemiological and experimental studies about the role of environmental factors in the development of idiopathic AD and PD, and their mechanisms of action. PMID:25914621

  19. Insight into the Dissociation of Behavior from Histology in Synucleinopathies and in Related Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Sekiyama, Kazunari; Takamatsu, Yoshiki; Koike, Wakako; Waragai, Masaaki; Takenouchi, Takato; Sugama, Shuei; Hashimoto, Makoto

    2016-03-31

    Recent clinical trials using immunization approaches against Alzheimer's disease (AD) have failed to demonstrate improved cognitive functions in patients, despite potent suppression in the formation of both senile plaques and other amyloid-β deposits in postmortem brains. Similarly, we observed that treatment with ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, was effective in improving the histopathology, such as reducing both protein aggregation and glial activation, in the brains of transgenic mice expressing dementia with Lewy bodies-linked P123H β-synuclein. In contrast, only a small improvement in cognitive functions was observed in these mice. Collectively, it is predicted that histology does not correlate with behavior that is resilient and resistant to therapeutic stimuli. Notably, such a 'discrepancy between histology and behavior' is reminiscent of AD-like pathologies and incidental Lewy bodies, which are frequently encountered in postmortem brains of the elderly who had been asymptomatic for memory loss and Parkinsonism during their lives. We suggest that 'the discrepancy between histology and behavior' may be a universal feature that is associated with various aspects of neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, given that the cognitive reserve is specifically observed in human brains, human behavior may be evolutionally distinct from that in other animals, thus, contributing to the differential efficiency of therapy between human and lower animals, an important issue in the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. Overall, it is important to better understand 'the discrepancy between histology and behavior' in the mechanism of neurodegeneration for the development of effective therapies against neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27031478

  20. Environmental pollutants as risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.

    PubMed

    Chin-Chan, Miguel; Navarro-Yepes, Juliana; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer (AD) and Parkinson (PD) have attracted attention in last decades due to their high incidence worldwide. The etiology of these diseases is still unclear; however the role of the environment as a putative risk factor has gained importance. More worryingly is the evidence that pre- and post-natal exposures to environmental factors predispose to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases in later life. Neurotoxic metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium and arsenic, as well as some pesticides and metal-based nanoparticles have been involved in AD due to their ability to increase beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide and the phosphorylation of Tau protein (P-Tau), causing senile/amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) characteristic of AD. The exposure to lead, manganese, solvents and some pesticides has been related to hallmarks of PD such as mitochondrial dysfunction, alterations in metal homeostasis and aggregation of proteins such as α-synuclein (α-syn), which is a key constituent of Lewy bodies (LB), a crucial factor in PD pathogenesis. Common mechanisms of environmental pollutants to increase Aβ, P-Tau, α-syn and neuronal death have been reported, including the oxidative stress mainly involved in the increase of Aβ and α-syn, and the reduced activity/protein levels of Aβ degrading enzyme (IDE)s such as neprilysin or insulin IDE. In addition, epigenetic mechanisms by maternal nutrient supplementation and exposure to heavy metals and pesticides have been proposed to lead phenotypic diversity and susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses data from epidemiological and experimental studies about the role of environmental factors in the development of idiopathic AD and PD, and their mechanisms of action. PMID:25914621

  1. Use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Adanna G.; Marfil, Vanessa; Li, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Advances in research and technology has increased our quality of life, allowed us to combat diseases, and achieve increased longevity. Unfortunately, increased longevity is accompanied by a rise in the incidences of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the sixth leading cause of death, and one of the leading causes of dementia amongst the aged population in the USA. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the prevalence of extracellular Aβ plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, derived from the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau, respectively. Despite years of extensive research, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of AD remain unclear. Model organisms, such as the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, present a complementary approach to addressing these questions. C. elegans has many advantages as a model system to study AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Like their mammalian counterparts, they have complex biochemical pathways, most of which are conserved. Genes in which mutations are correlated with AD have counterparts in C. elegans, including an APP-related gene, apl-1, a tau homolog, ptl-1, and presenilin homologs, such as sel-12 and hop-1. Since the neuronal connectivity in C. elegans has already been established, C. elegans is also advantageous in modeling learning and memory impairments seen during AD. This article addresses the insights C. elegans provide in studying AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we explore the advantages and drawbacks associated with using this model. PMID:25250042

  2. Brain Cholesterol Metabolism and Its Defects: Linkage to Neurodegenerative Diseases and Synaptic Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Petrov, A M; Kasimov, M R; Zefirov, A L

    2016-01-01

    Cholesterol is an important constituent of cell membranes and plays a crucial role in the compartmentalization of the plasma membrane and signaling. Brain cholesterol accounts for a large proportion of the body's total cholesterol, existing in two pools: the plasma membranes of neurons and glial cells and the myelin membranes . Cholesterol has been recently shown to be important for synaptic transmission, and a link between cholesterol metabolism defects and neurodegenerative disorders is now recognized. Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by impaired cholesterol turnover in the brain. However, at which stage the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway is perturbed and how this contributes to pathogenesis remains unknown. Cognitive deficits and neurodegeneration may be associated with impaired synaptic transduction. Defects in cholesterol biosynthesis can trigger dysfunction of synaptic transmission. In this review, an overview of cholesterol turnover under physiological and pathological conditions is presented (Huntington's, Niemann-Pick type C diseases, Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome). We will discuss possible mechanisms by which cholesterol content in the plasma membrane influences synaptic processes. Changes in cholesterol metabolism in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and autistic disorders are beyond the scope of this review and will be summarized in our next paper. PMID:27099785

  3. Brain Cholesterol Metabolism and Its Defects: Linkage to Neurodegenerative Diseases and Synaptic Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Petrov, A. M.; Kasimov, M. R.; Zefirov, A. L.

    2016-01-01

    Cholesterol is an important constituent of cell membranes and plays a crucial role in the compartmentalization of the plasma membrane and signaling. Brain cholesterol accounts for a large proportion of the body’s total cholesterol, existing in two pools: the plasma membranes of neurons and glial cells and the myelin membranes . Cholesterol has been recently shown to be important for synaptic transmission, and a link between cholesterol metabolism defects and neurodegenerative disorders is now recognized. Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by impaired cholesterol turnover in the brain. However, at which stage the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway is perturbed and how this contributes to pathogenesis remains unknown. Cognitive deficits and neurodegeneration may be associated with impaired synaptic transduction. Defects in cholesterol biosynthesis can trigger dysfunction of synaptic transmission. In this review, an overview of cholesterol turnover under physiological and pathological conditions is presented (Huntington’s, Niemann-Pick type C diseases, Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome). We will discuss possible mechanisms by which cholesterol content in the plasma membrane influences synaptic processes. Changes in cholesterol metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and autistic disorders are beyond the scope of this review and will be summarized in our next paper. PMID:27099785

  4. Does inactivation of USP14 enhance degradation of proteasomal substrates that are associated with neurodegenerative diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Ortuno, Daniel; Carlisle, Holly J.; Miller, Silke

    2016-01-01

    A common pathological hallmark of age-related neurodegenerative diseases is the intracellular accumulation of protein aggregates such as α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease, TDP-43 in ALS, and tau in Alzheimer’s disease. Enhancing intracellular clearance of aggregation-prone proteins is a plausible strategy for slowing progression of neurodegenerative diseases and there is great interest in identifying molecular targets that control protein turnover. One of the main routes for protein degradation is through the proteasome, a multisubunit protease that degrades proteins that have been tagged with a polyubiquitin chain by ubiquitin activating and conjugating enzymes. Published data from cellular models indicate that Ubiquitin-specific protease 14 (USP14), a deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB), slows the degradation of tau and TDP-43 by the proteasome and that an inhibitor of USP14 increases the degradation of these substrates. We conducted similar experiments designed to evaluate tau, TDP-43, or α-synuclein levels in cells after overexpressing USP14 or knocking down endogenous expression by siRNA. PMID:26998235

  5. Structural disorder and the loss of RNA homeostasis in aging and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Douglas A.; Woulfe, John

    2013-01-01

    Whereas many cases of neurodegenerative disease feature the abnormal accumulation of protein, an abundance of recent literature highlights loss of RNA homeostasis as a ubiquitous and central feature of pathological states. In some diseases expanded repeats have been identified in non-coding regions of disease-associated transcripts, calling into question the relevance of protein in the disease mechanism. We review the literature in support of a hypothesis that intrinsically disordered proteins (proteins that lack a stable three dimensional conformation) are particularly sensitive to an age-related decline in maintenance of protein homeostasis. The potential consequences for structurally disordered RNA-binding proteins are explored, including their aggregation into complexes that could be transmitted through a prion-like mechanism. We propose that the spread of ribonucleoprotein complexes through the nervous system could propagate a neuronal error catastrophe at the level of RNA metabolism. PMID:23967011

  6. PET imaging of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor: monitoring disease progression and therapy response in neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Doorduin, Janine; de Vries, Erik F J; Dierckx, Rudi A; Klein, Hans C

    2008-01-01

    It is important to gain more insight into neurodegenerative diseases, because these debilitating diseases can not be cured. A common characteristic of many neurological diseases is neuroinflammation, which is accompanied by the presence of activated microglia cells. In activated microglia cells, an increase in the expression of peripheral benzodiazepine receptors (PBR) can be found. The PBR was suggested as a target for monitoring disease progression and therapy efficacy with positron emission tomograpy (PET). The PET tracer [(11)C]PK11195 has been widely used for PBR imaging, but the tracer has a high lipophilicity and high non-specific binding which makes it difficult to quantify uptake. Therefore, efforts are being made to develop more sensitive radioligands for the PBR. Animal studies have yielded several promising new tracers for PBR imaging, such as [(11)C]DAA1106, [(18)F]FEDAA1106, [(11)C]PBR28, [(11)C]DPA713 and [(11)C]CLINME. However, the potential of these new PBR ligands is still under investigation and as a consequence [(11)C]PK11195 is used so far to image activated microglia cells in neurological disorders. With [(11)C]PK11195, distinct neuroinflammation was detected in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, encephalitis and other neurological diseases. Because neuroinflammation plays a central role in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, anti-inflammatory drugs have been investigated for therapeutic intervention. Especially minocycline and cyclooxygenase inhibitors have shown in vivo anti-inflammatory, hence neuroprotective properties, that could be detected by PET imaging of the PBR with [(11)C]PK11195. The imaging studies published so far showed that the PBR can be an important target for monitoring disease progression, therapy response and determining the optimal drug dose. PMID:19075709

  7. A Rare Case Report of Neurodegenerative Disease: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Two Male Siblings.

    PubMed

    Suneja, B; Suneja, E S; Adlakha, V K; Chandna, P

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an recessive X-linked mediated, musculoskeletal disorder that affects only males. It is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy where there is failure to manufacture dystrophin. Clinically, it is characterized by progressive muscle wasting eventually leading to premature death. This case report describes the genetic, oral and systemic findings in two cases of DMD in male siblings. How to cite this article: Suneja B, Suneja ES, Adlakha VK, Chandna P. A Rare Case Report of Neurodegenerative Disease: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Two Male Siblings. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2015;8(2):163-165. PMID:26379389

  8. A Rare Case Report of Neurodegenerative Disease: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Two Male Siblings

    PubMed Central

    Suneja, B; Suneja, ES; Chandna, P

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an recessive X-linked mediated, musculoskeletal disorder that affects only males. It is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy where there is failure to manufacture dystrophin. Clinically, it is characterized by progressive muscle wasting eventually leading to premature death. This case report describes the genetic, oral and systemic findings in two cases of DMD in male siblings. How to cite this article: Suneja B, Suneja ES, Adlakha VK, Chandna P. A Rare Case Report of Neurodegenerative Disease: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Two Male Siblings. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2015;8(2):163-165. PMID:26379389

  9. Regulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in neurodegenerative, neurovascular and neuroinflammatory disease.

    PubMed

    Simon, Matthew J; Iliff, Jeffrey J

    2016-03-01

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulation and turnover provides a sink for the elimination of solutes from the brain interstitium, serving an important homeostatic role for the function of the central nervous system. Disruption of normal CSF circulation and turnover is believed to contribute to the development of many diseases, including neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, ischemic and traumatic brain injury, and neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Recent insights into CSF biology suggesting that CSF and interstitial fluid exchange along a brain-wide network of perivascular spaces termed the 'glymphatic' system suggest that CSF circulation may interact intimately with glial and vascular function to regulate basic aspects of brain function. Dysfunction within this glial vascular network, which is a feature of the aging and injured brain, is a potentially critical link between brain injury, neuroinflammation and the development of chronic neurodegeneration. Ongoing research within this field may provide a powerful new framework for understanding the common links between neurodegenerative, neurovascular and neuroinflammatory disease, in addition to providing potentially novel therapeutic targets for these conditions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuro Inflammation edited by Helga E. de Vries and Markus Schwaninger. PMID:26499397

  10. A platform for discovery: The University of Pennsylvania Integrated Neurodegenerative Disease Biobank.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Jon B; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M; Lee, Edward B; Suh, EunRan; Baek, Young; Robinson, John L; Xie, Sharon X; McBride, Jennifer; Wood, Elisabeth M; Schuck, Theresa; Irwin, David J; Gross, Rachel G; Hurtig, Howard; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Karlawish, Jason; Schellenberg, Gerard; Chen-Plotkin, Alice; Wolk, David; Grossman, Murray; Arnold, Steven E; Shaw, Leslie M; Lee, Virginia M-Y; Trojanowski, John Q

    2014-07-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are defined by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the central nervous system (CNS), and only neuropathological examination enables a definitive diagnosis. Brain banks and their associated scientific programs have shaped the actual knowledge of NDs, identifying and characterizing the CNS deposits that define new diseases, formulating staging schemes, and establishing correlations between neuropathological changes and clinical features. However, brain banks have evolved to accommodate the banking of biofluids as well as DNA and RNA samples. Moreover, the value of biobanks is greatly enhanced if they link all the multidimensional clinical and laboratory information of each case, which is accomplished, optimally, using systematic and standardized operating procedures, and in the framework of multidisciplinary teams with the support of a flexible and user-friendly database system that facilitates the sharing of information of all the teams in the network. We describe a biobanking system that is a platform for discovery research at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania. PMID:23978324

  11. Young systemic factors as a medicine for age-related neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Katsimpardi, Lida; Rubin, Lee L

    2015-01-01

    It is widely known that neurogenesis, brain function and cognition decline with aging. Increasing evidence suggests that cerebrovascular dysfunction is a major cause of cognitive impairment in the elderly but is also involved in age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Finding ways and molecules that reverse this process and ameliorate age- and disease-related cognitive impairment by targeting vascular and neurogenic deterioration would be of great therapeutic value. In Katsimpardi et al. we reported that young blood has a dual beneficial effect in the aged brain by restoring age-related decline in neurogenesis as well as inducing a striking remodeling of the aged vasculature and restoring blood flow to youthful levels. Additionally, we identified a youthful systemic factor, GDF11 that recapitulates these beneficial effects of young blood. We believe that the identification of young systemic factors that can rejuvenate the aged brain opens new roads to therapeutic intervention for neurodegenerative diseases by targeting both neural stem cells and neurogenesis as well as at the vasculature.

  12. Mitochondrial Biogenesis: A Therapeutic Target for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Uittenbogaard, Martine; Chiaramello, Anne

    2014-01-01

    In the developing and mature brain, mitochondria act as central hubs for distinct but interwined pathways, necessary for neural development, survival, activity, connectivity and plasticity. In neurons, mitochondria assume diverse functions, such as energy production in the form of ATP, calcium buffering and generation of reactive oxygen species. Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to a range of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, making mitochondria a potential target for pharmacological-based therapies. Pathogenesis associated with these diseases is accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial mass, a quantitative increase to overcome a qualitative deficiency due to mutated mitochondrial proteins that are either nuclear- or mitochondrial-encoded. This compensatory biological response is maladaptive, as it fails to sufficiently augment the bioenergetically functional mitochondrial mass and correct for the ATP deficit. Since regulation of neuronal mitochondrial biogenesis has been scantily investigated, our current understanding on the network of transcriptional regulators, co-activators and signaling regulators mainly derives from other cellular systems. The purpose of this review is to present the current state of our knowledge and understanding of the transcriptional and signaling cascades controlling neuronal mitochondrial biogenesis and the various therapeutic approaches to enhance the functional mitochondrial mass in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders and adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24606804

  13. A platform for discovery: The University of Pennsylvania Integrated Neurodegenerative Disease Biobank

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, Jon B.; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Lee, Edward B.; Suh, EunRan; Baek, Young; Robinson, John L.; Xie, Sharon X.; McBride, Jennifer; Wood, Elisabeth M.; Schuck, Theresa; Irwin, David J.; Gross, Rachel G.; Hurtig, Howard; McCluskey, Leo; Elman, Lauren; Karlawish, Jason; Schellenberg, Gerard; Chen-Plotkin, Alice; Wolk, David; Grossman, Murray; Arnold, Steven E.; Shaw, Leslie M.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are defined by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the central nervous system (CNS), and only neuropathological examination enables a definitive diagnosis. Brain banks and their associated scientific programs have shaped the actual knowledge of NDs, identifying and characterizing the CNS deposits that define new diseases, formulating staging schemes, and establishing correlations between neuropathological changes and clinical features. However, brain banks have evolved to accommodate the banking of biofluids as well as DNA and RNA samples. Moreover, the value of biobanks is greatly enhanced if they link all the multidimensional clinical and laboratory information of each case, which is accomplished, optimally, using systematic and standardized operating procedures, and in the framework of multidisciplinary teams with the support of a flexible and user-friendly database system that facilitates the sharing of information of all the teams in the network. We describe a biobanking system that is a platform for discovery research at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania. PMID:23978324

  14. Cellular responses following retinal injuries and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Cuenca, Nicolás; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Campello, Laura; Maneu, Victoria; De la Villa, Pedro; Lax, Pedro; Pinilla, Isabel

    2014-11-01

    Retinal neurodegenerative diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa each have a different etiology and pathogenesis. However, at the cellular and molecular level, the response to retinal injury is similar in all of them, and results in morphological and functional impairment of retinal cells. This retinal degeneration may be triggered by gene defects, increased intraocular pressure, high levels of blood glucose, other types of stress or aging, but they all frequently induce a set of cell signals that lead to well-established and similar morphological and functional changes, including controlled cell death and retinal remodeling. Interestingly, an inflammatory response, oxidative stress and activation of apoptotic pathways are common features in all these diseases. Furthermore, it is important to note the relevant role of glial cells, including astrocytes, Müller cells and microglia, because their response to injury is decisive for maintaining the health of the retina or its degeneration. Several therapeutic approaches have been developed to preserve retinal function or restore eyesight in pathological conditions. In this context, neuroprotective compounds, gene therapy, cell transplantation or artificial devices should be applied at the appropriate stage of retinal degeneration to obtain successful results. This review provides an overview of the common and distinctive features of retinal neurodegenerative diseases, including the molecular, anatomical and functional changes caused by the cellular response to damage, in order to establish appropriate treatments for these pathologies. PMID:25038518

  15. No Geographic Correlation between Lyme Disease and Death Due to 4 Neurodegenerative Disorders, United States, 2001–2010

    PubMed Central

    Kugeler, Kiersten J.; Perea, Anna E.; Pastula, Daniel M.; Mead, Paul S.

    2015-01-01

    Associations between Lyme disease and certain neurodegenerative diseases have been proposed, but supportive evidence for an association is lacking. Similar geographic distributions would be expected if 2 conditions were etiologically linked. Thus, we compared the distribution of Lyme disease cases in the United States with the distributions of deaths due to Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson disease; no geographic correlations were identified. Lyme disease incidence per US state was not correlated with rates of death due to ALS, MS, or Parkinson disease; however, an inverse correlation was detected between Lyme disease and Alzheimer disease. The absence of a positive correlation between the geographic distribution of Lyme disease and the distribution of deaths due to Alzheimer disease, ALS, MS, and Parkinson disease provides further evidence that Lyme disease is not associated with the development of these neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:26488307

  16. Cognitive effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients with neurodegenerative diseases - clinician's perspective.

    PubMed

    Anderkova, Lubomira; Rektorova, Irena

    2014-04-15

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) represents a promising tool for studying and influencing cognition in people with neurodegenerative diseases. This procedure is noninvasive and painless, and it does not require the use of anesthesia or pharmacological substances. In this systematic critical review we report outcomes from research focused on behavioral cognitive effects induced by rTMS in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) preceding AD. There are still major limitations to rTMS use, such as a poor understanding of its after-effects and inter-individual variability in their magnitude, discrepancies in stimulation protocols and study designs, varied selection of the specific stimulated areas and control procedures, and neuropsychological methods for assessment of after-effects; hence, the results of the present research can only be considered preliminary. The future directions are discussed. PMID:24530170

  17. Therapeutic Approach of Nanotechnology for Oxidative Stress Induced Ocular Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Rajendra N; Conley, Shannon M; Naash, Muna I

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress plays a role in many different forms of neurodegenerative ocular disease. The imbalance between the generation of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their corresponding neutralization by endogenous antioxidant defense systems leads to cellular oxidative stress, oxidation of different bio-macromolecules, and eventually retinal disease. As a result, the administration of supplemental endogenous antioxidant materials or exogenous ROS scavengers is an interesting therapeutic approach for the treatment of forms of ocular disease associated with oxidative stress. Thus far, different dietary antioxidant supplements have been proven to be clinically reliable and effective, and different antioxidant gene therapy approaches are under investigation. In addition, various metal oxide nanoparticles were shown to be effective in defending against oxidative stress-associated injury. These benefits are due to free radical scavenging properties of the materials arising from non-stoichiometric crystal defects and oxygen deficiencies. Here we discuss the application of this approach to the protection of the retina. PMID:26427447

  18. CRISPR/Cas9: Implications for Modeling and Therapy of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Weili; Tu, Zhuchi; Sun, Qiang; Li, Xiao-Jiang

    2016-01-01

    CRISPR/Cas9 is now used widely to genetically modify the genomes of various species. The ability of CRISPR/Cas9 to delete DNA sequences and correct DNA mutations opens up a new avenue to treat genetic diseases that are caused by DNA mutations. In this review, we describe the advantages of using CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer genomic DNAs in animal embryos, as well as in specific regions or cell types in the brain. We also discuss how to apply CRISPR/Cas9 to establish animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease (HD), and to treat these disorders that are caused by genetic mutations. PMID:27199655

  19. Implications of prion adaptation and evolution paradigm for human neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence indicating that number of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, fronto-temporal dementias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, propagate in the brain via prion-like intercellular induction of protein misfolding. Prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans, the most prevalent being sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD); they self-replicate and spread by converting the cellular form of prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded pathogenic conformer (PrP(Sc)). The extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of human prion diseases is determined by polymorphisms in the prion protein gene, and by prion strain-specific conformation of PrP(Sc). Remarkably, even though informative nucleic acid is absent, prions may undergo rapid adaptation and evolution in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier. In the course of our investigation of this process, we isolated distinct populations of PrP(Sc) particles that frequently co-exist in sCJD. The human prion particles replicate independently and undergo competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. Exposed to mutant substrate, the winning PrP(Sc) conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to the lowest stability. Thus, the evolution and adaptation of human prions is enabled by a dynamic collection of distinct populations of particles, whose evolution is governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrP(Sc) conformers. This fundamental biological mechanism may explain the drug resistance that some prions gained after exposure to compounds targeting PrP(Sc). Whether the phenotypic heterogeneity of other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding is determined by the spectrum of misfolded conformers (strains) remains to be established. However, the prospect that these conformers may evolve and

  20. NeuroTransDB: highly curated and structured transcriptomic metadata for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Bagewadi, Shweta; Adhikari, Subash; Dhrangadhariya, Anjani; Irin, Afroza Khanam; Ebeling, Christian; Namasivayam, Aishwarya Alex; Page, Matthew; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Senger, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are chronic debilitating conditions, characterized by progressive loss of neurons that represent a significant health care burden as the global elderly population continues to grow. Over the past decade, high-throughput technologies such as the Affymetrix GeneChip microarrays have provided new perspectives into the pathomechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Public transcriptomic data repositories, namely Gene Expression Omnibus and curated ArrayExpress, enable researchers to conduct integrative meta-analysis; increasing the power to detect differentially regulated genes in disease and explore patterns of gene dysregulation across biologically related studies. The reliability of retrospective, large-scale integrative analyses depends on an appropriate combination of related datasets, in turn requiring detailed meta-annotations capturing the experimental setup. In most cases, we observe huge variation in compliance to defined standards for submitted metadata in public databases. Much of the information to complete, or refine meta-annotations are distributed in the associated publications. For example, tissue preparation or comorbidity information is frequently described in an article's supplementary tables. Several value-added databases have employed additional manual efforts to overcome this limitation. However, none of these databases explicate annotations that distinguish human and animal models in neurodegeneration context. Therefore, adopting a more specific disease focus, in combination with dedicated disease ontologies, will better empower the selection of comparable studies with refined annotations to address the research question at hand. In this article, we describe the detailed development of NeuroTransDB, a manually curated database containing metadata annotations for neurodegenerative studies. The database contains more than 20 dimensions of metadata annotations within 31 mouse, 5 rat and 45 human studies, defined in

  1. Self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease relies on neural structures mediating reward-driven attention.

    PubMed

    Shany-Ur, Tal; Lin, Nancy; Rosen, Howard J; Sollberger, Marc; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2014-08-01

    Accurate self-awareness is essential for adapting one's tasks and goals to one's actual abilities. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those with right frontal involvement, often present with poor self-awareness of their functional limitations that may exacerbate their already jeopardized decision-making and behaviour. We studied the structural neuroanatomical basis for impaired self-awareness among patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy older adults. One hundred and twenty-four participants (78 patients with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, semantic variant and non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia, and 46 healthy controls) described themselves on the Patient Competency Rating Scale, rating observable functioning across four domains (daily living activities, cognitive, emotional control, interpersonal). All participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Informants also described subjects' functioning on the same scale. Self-awareness was measured by comparing self and informant ratings. Group differences in discrepancy scores were analysed using general linear models, controlling for age, sex and disease severity. Compared with controls, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia overestimated their functioning in all domains, patients with Alzheimer's disease overestimated cognitive and emotional functioning, patients with right-temporal frontotemporal dementia overestimated interpersonal functioning, and patients with non-fluent aphasia overestimated emotional and interpersonal functioning. Patients with semantic variant aphasia did not overestimate functioning on any domain. To examine the neuroanatomic correlates of impaired self-awareness, discrepancy scores were correlated with brain volume using voxel-based morphometry. To identify the unique neural correlates of overlooking

  2. The 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in executive function: Implications for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Aznar, Susana; Hervig, Mona El-Sayed

    2016-05-01

    Executive function entails the interplay of a group of cognitive processes enabling the individual to anticipate consequences, attain self-control, and undertake appropriate goal-directed behaviour. Serotonin signalling at serotonin 2A receptors (5-HT2AR) has important effects on these behavioural and cognitive pathways, with the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as the central actor. Indeed, the 5-HT2ARs are highly expressed in PFC, where they modulate cortical activity and local network oscillations (brain waves). Numerous psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases result in disrupted executive function. Animal and human studies have linked these disorders with alterations in the 5-HT2AR system, making this an important pharmacological target for the treatment of disorders with impaired cognitive function. This review aims to describe the current state of knowledge on the role of 5-HT2AR signalling in components of executive function, and how 5-HT2AR systems may relate to executive dysfunctions occurring in psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. We hope thereby to provide insight into how pharmacotherapy targeting the 5-HT2AR may ameliorate (or exacerbate) aspects of these disorders. PMID:26891819

  3. A faulty interaction between SOD1 and hCCS in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Gareth S. A.; Antonyuk, Svetlana V.; Hasnain, S. Samar

    2016-01-01

    A proportion of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases result from impaired mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) maturation. The copper chaperone for SOD1 (hCCS) forms a transient complex with SOD1 and catalyses the final stages of its maturation. We find that a neurodegenerative disease-associated hCCS mutation abrogates the interaction with SOD1 by inhibiting hCCS zinc binding. Analogously, SOD1 zinc loss has a detrimental effect on the formation, structure and disassociation of the hCCS-SOD1 heterodimer. This suggests that hCCS functionality is impaired by ALS mutations that reduce SOD1 zinc affinity. Furthermore, stabilization of wild-type SOD1 by chemical modification including cisplatination, inhibits complex formation. We hypothesize that drug molecules designed to stabilize ALS SOD1 mutants that also target the wild-type form will lead to characteristics common in SOD1 knock-outs. Our work demonstrates the applicability of chromatographic SAXS when studying biomolecules predisposed to aggregation or dissociation; attributes frequently reported for complexes involved in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27282955

  4. A faulty interaction between SOD1 and hCCS in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Wright, Gareth S A; Antonyuk, Svetlana V; Hasnain, S Samar

    2016-01-01

    A proportion of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases result from impaired mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) maturation. The copper chaperone for SOD1 (hCCS) forms a transient complex with SOD1 and catalyses the final stages of its maturation. We find that a neurodegenerative disease-associated hCCS mutation abrogates the interaction with SOD1 by inhibiting hCCS zinc binding. Analogously, SOD1 zinc loss has a detrimental effect on the formation, structure and disassociation of the hCCS-SOD1 heterodimer. This suggests that hCCS functionality is impaired by ALS mutations that reduce SOD1 zinc affinity. Furthermore, stabilization of wild-type SOD1 by chemical modification including cisplatination, inhibits complex formation. We hypothesize that drug molecules designed to stabilize ALS SOD1 mutants that also target the wild-type form will lead to characteristics common in SOD1 knock-outs. Our work demonstrates the applicability of chromatographic SAXS when studying biomolecules predisposed to aggregation or dissociation; attributes frequently reported for complexes involved in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27282955

  5. Effect of Meditation on Cognitive Functions in Context of Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Marciniak, Rafał; Sheardova, Katerina; Čermáková, Pavla; Hudeček, Daniel; Šumec, Rastislav; Hort, Jakub

    2014-01-01

    Effect of different meditation practices on various aspects of mental and physical health is receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews evidence on the effects of several mediation practices on cognitive functions in the context of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. The effect of meditation in this area is still poorly explored. Seven studies were detected through the databases search, which explores the effect of meditation on attention, memory, executive functions, and other miscellaneous measures of cognition in a sample of older people and people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Overall, reviewed studies suggested a positive effect of meditation techniques, particularly in the area of attention, as well as memory, verbal fluency, and cognitive flexibility. These findings are discussed in the context of MRI studies suggesting structural correlates of the effects. Meditation can be a potentially suitable non-pharmacological intervention aimed at the prevention of cognitive decline in the elderly. However, the conclusions of these studies are limited by their methodological flaws and differences of various types of meditation techniques. Further research in this direction could help to verify the validity of the findings and clarify the problematic aspects. PMID:24478663

  6. Estimating premorbid IQ in the prodromal phase of a neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Carlozzi, Noelle E; Stout, Julie C; Mills, James A; Duff, Kevin; Beglinger, Leigh J; Aylward, Elizabeth H; Whitlock, Kathryn B; Solomon, Andrea C; Queller, Sarah; Langbehn, Douglas R; Johnson, Shannon A; Paulsen, Jane S

    2011-07-01

    Estimates of premorbid intellect are often used in neuropsychological assessment to make inferences about cognitive decline. To optimize the method of controlling for premorbid intellect in assessments of prodromal neurodegenerative disease, we examined performance on the American National Adult Reading Test (ANART; administered during Years 1 and 3) and the two-subtest version of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI; administered in Years 2 and 4) in an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of 371 participants with prodromal Huntington disease and 51 participants with normal CAG repeats. Although both measures performed similarly, the ANART demonstrated slightly lower variability in performance over a 2-year period and had slightly higher test-retest reliability than the WASI. PMID:21660882

  7. KDM1 histone lysine demethylases as targets for treatments of oncological and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Maes, Tamara; Mascaró, Cristina; Ortega, Alberto; Lunardi, Serena; Ciceri, Filippo; Somervaille, Tim C P; Buesa, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Histone methylation and demethylation are important processes associated with the regulation of gene transcription, and alterations in histone methylation status have been linked to a large number of human diseases. Initially thought to be an irreversible process, histone methylation is now known to be reversed by two families of proteins containing over 30 members that act to remove methyl groups from specific lysine residues present in the tails of histone H3 and histone H4. A rapidly growing number of reports have implicated the FAD-dependent lysine specific demethylase (KDM1) family in cancer, and several small-molecule inhibitors are in development for the treatment of cancer. An additional role has emerged for KDM1 in brain function, offering additional opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic strategies in neurodegenerative disease. A decade after the identification of KDM1A as a histone demethylase, the first selective inhibitors have now reached the clinic. PMID:26111032

  8. Advanced shotgun lipidomics for characterization of altered lipid patterns in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Miao; Han, Xianlin

    2016-01-01

    Summary Multi-dimensional mass spectrometry-based shotgun lipidomics (MDMS-SL) is a powerful technology platform among current lipidomics practices due to its high efficiency, sensitivity, and reproducibility, as well as its broad coverage. This platform has been broadly used to determine the altered lipid profiles induced by diseases, injury, genetic manipulations, drug treatments, and aging, among others. Herein, we summarized the principles underlying this platform and presented a protocol for analysis of many of the lipid classes and subclasses covered by MDMS-SL directly from lipid extracts of brain samples. We believe that this protocol could aid the researchers in the field to determine the altered lipid patterns in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury. PMID:26235081

  9. Method for the systematic reviews on occupational therapy and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Arbesman, Marian; Lieberman, Deborah; Berlanstein, Debra R

    2014-01-01

    Systematic reviews of the literature relevant to neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are important to the practice of occupational therapy. We describe the four questions that served as the focus for systematic reviews of the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for PD, MS, and ALS. We include the background for the reviews; the process followed for addressing each question, including search terms and search strategy; the databases searched; and the methods used to summarize and critically appraise the literature. The final number of articles included in each systematic review; a summary of the themes of the results; the strengths and limitations of the findings; and implications for practice, education, and research are presented. PMID:24367950

  10. Melatonin and Other Tryptophan Metabolites Produced by Yeasts: Implications in Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hornedo-Ortega, Ruth; Cerezo, Ana B.; Troncoso, Ana M.; Garcia-Parrilla, M. Carmen; Mas, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Yeast metabolism produces compounds derived from tryptophan, which are found in fermented beverages, such as wine and beer. In particular, melatonin and serotonin, may be relevant due to their bioactivity in humans. Indeed, the former is a neurohormone related to circadian rhythms, which also has a putative protective effect against degenerative diseases. Moreover, serotonin is a neurotransmitter itself, in addition to being a precursor of melatonin synthesis. This paper summarizes data reported on fermented beverages, to evaluate dietary intake. Additionally, the article reviews observed effects of yeast amino acid metabolites on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and angiogenesis, focusing on evidence of the molecular mechanism involved and identification of molecular targets. PMID:26834716

  11. Estimating premorbid IQ in the prodromal phase of a neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Carlozzi, Noelle E.; Stout, Julie C.; Mills, James A.; Duff, Kevin; Beglinger, Leigh J.; Aylward, Elizabeth H.; Whitlock, Kathryn B.; Solomon, Andrea C.; Queller, Sarah; Langbehn, Douglas R.; Johnson, Shannon A.; Paulsen, Jane S.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of premorbid intellect are often used in neuropsychological assessment to make inferences about cognitive decline. To optimize the method of controlling for premorbid intellect in assessments of prodromal neurodegenerative disease, we examined performance on the American National Adult Reading Test (ANART; administered during Years 1 and 3) and the two-subtest version of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI; administered in Years 2 and 4) in an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of 371 participants with prodromal Huntington disease and 51 participants with normal CAG repeats. Although both measures performed similarly, the ANART demonstrated slightly lower variability in performance over a two-year period and had slightly higher test-retest reliability than the WASI. PMID:21660882

  12. Epigenetic regulation of mitochondrial function in neurodegenerative disease: New insights from advances in genomic technologies.

    PubMed

    Devall, Matthew; Roubroeks, Janou; Mill, Jonathan; Weedon, Michael; Lunnon, Katie

    2016-06-20

    The field of mitochondrial epigenetics has received increased attention in recent years and changes in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation has been implicated in a number of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, current publications have been limited by the use of global or targeted methods of measuring DNA methylation. In this review, we discuss current findings in mitochondrial epigenetics as well as its potential role as a regulator of mitochondria within the brain. Finally, we summarize the current technologies best suited to capturing mtDNA methylation, and how a move towards whole epigenome sequencing of mtDNA may help to advance our current understanding of the field. PMID:26876477

  13. Targeting Hsp90/Hsp70-based protein quality control for treatment of adult onset neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Pratt, William B; Gestwicki, Jason E; Osawa, Yoichi; Lieberman, Andrew P

    2015-01-01

    Currently available therapies for adult onset neurodegenerative diseases provide symptomatic relief but do not modify disease progression. Here we explore a new neuroprotective approach based on drugs targeting chaperone-directed protein quality control. Critical target proteins that unfold and aggregate in these diseases, such as the polyglutamine androgen receptor in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, huntingtin in Huntington's disease, α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease, and tau in Alzheimer's disease, are client proteins of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), and their turnover is regulated by the protein quality control function of the Hsp90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery. Hsp90 and Hsp70 have opposing effects on client protein stability in protein quality control; Hsp90 stabilizes the clients and inhibits their ubiquitination, whereas Hsp70 promotes ubiquitination dependent on CHIP (C terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein) and proteasomal degradation. We discuss how drugs that modulate proteostasis by inhibiting Hsp90 function or promoting Hsp70 function enhance the degradation of the critical aggregating proteins and ameliorate toxic symptoms in cell and animal disease models. PMID:25292434

  14. 2D gel blood serum biomarkers reveal differential clinical proteomics of the neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Sheta, Essam A; Appel, Stanley H; Goldknopf, Ira L

    2006-02-01

    This review addresses the challenges of neuroproteomics and recent progress in biomarkers and tests for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The review will discuss how the application of quantitative 2D gel electrophoresis, combined with appropriate single-variable and multivariate biostatistics, allows for selection of disease-specific serum biomarkers. It will also address how the use of large cohorts of specifically targeted patient blood serum samples and complimentary age-matched controls, in parallel with the use of selected panels of these biomarkers, are being applied to the development of blood tests to specifically address unmet pressing needs in the differential diagnosis of these diseases, and to provide potential avenues for mechanism-based drug targeting and treatment monitoring. While exploring recent findings in this area, the review discusses differences in critical pathways of immune/inflammation and amyloid formation between Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as discernable synergistic relationships between these pathways that are revealed by this approach. The potential for pathway measurement in blood tests for differential diagnosis, disease burden and therapeutic monitoring is also outlined. PMID:16445350

  15. Reasoning over genetic variance information in cause-and-effect models of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Naz, Mufassra; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom

    2016-01-01

    The work we present here is based on the recent extension of the syntax of the Biological Expression Language (BEL), which now allows for the representation of genetic variation information in cause-and-effect models. In our article, we describe, how genetic variation information can be used to identify candidate disease mechanisms in diseases with complex aetiology such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In those diseases, we have to assume that many genetic variants contribute moderately to the overall dysregulation that in the case of neurodegenerative diseases has such a long incubation time until the first clinical symptoms are detectable. Owing to the multilevel nature of dysregulation events, systems biomedicine modelling approaches need to combine mechanistic information from various levels, including gene expression, microRNA (miRNA) expression, protein–protein interaction, genetic variation and pathway. OpenBEL, the open source version of BEL, has recently been extended to match this requirement, and we demonstrate in our article, how candidate mechanisms for early dysregulation events in Alzheimer’s disease can be identified based on an integrative mining approach that identifies ‘chains of causation’ that include single nucleotide polymorphism information in BEL models. PMID:26249223

  16. Niemann-Pick C disease gene mutations and age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Zech, Michael; Nübling, Georg; Castrop, Florian; Jochim, Angela; Schulte, Eva C; Mollenhauer, Brit; Lichtner, Peter; Peters, Annette; Gieger, Christian; Marquardt, Thorsten; Vanier, Marie T; Latour, Philippe; Klünemann, Hans; Trenkwalder, Claudia; Diehl-Schmid, Janine; Perneczky, Robert; Meitinger, Thomas; Oexle, Konrad; Haslinger, Bernhard; Lorenzl, Stefan; Winkelmann, Juliane

    2013-01-01

    Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a rare autosomal-recessively inherited lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in NPC1 (95%) or NPC2. Given the highly variable phenotype, diagnosis is challenging and particularly late-onset forms with predominantly neuropsychiatric presentations are likely underdiagnosed. Pathophysiologically, genetic alterations compromising the endosomal/lysosomal system are linked with age-related neurodegenerative disorders. We sought to examine a possible association of rare sequence variants in NPC1 and NPC2 with Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and to genetically determine the proportion of potentially misdiagnosed NPC patients in these neurodegenerative conditions. By means of high-resolution melting, we screened the coding regions of NPC1 and NPC2 for rare genetic variation in a homogenous German sample of patients clinically diagnosed with PD (n = 563), FTLD (n = 133) and PSP (n = 94), and 846 population-based controls. The frequencies of rare sequence variants in NPC1/2 did not differ significantly between patients and controls. Disease-associated NPC1/2 mutations were found in six PD patients (1.1%) and seven control subjects (0.8%), but not in FTLD or PSP. All rare variation was detected in the heterozygous state and no compound heterozygotes were observed. Our data do not support the hypothesis that rare NPC1/2 variants confer susceptibility for PD, FTLD, or PSP in the German population. Misdiagnosed NPC patients were not present in our samples. However, further assessment of NPC disease genes in age-related neurodegeneration is warranted. PMID:24386122

  17. Niemann-Pick C Disease Gene Mutations and Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Zech, Michael; Nübling, Georg; Castrop, Florian; Jochim, Angela; Schulte, Eva C.; Mollenhauer, Brit; Lichtner, Peter; Peters, Annette; Gieger, Christian; Marquardt, Thorsten; Vanier, Marie T.; Latour, Philippe; Klünemann, Hans; Trenkwalder, Claudia; Diehl-Schmid, Janine; Perneczky, Robert; Meitinger, Thomas; Oexle, Konrad; Haslinger, Bernhard; Lorenzl, Stefan; Winkelmann, Juliane

    2013-01-01

    Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a rare autosomal-recessively inherited lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in NPC1 (95%) or NPC2. Given the highly variable phenotype, diagnosis is challenging and particularly late-onset forms with predominantly neuropsychiatric presentations are likely underdiagnosed. Pathophysiologically, genetic alterations compromising the endosomal/lysosomal system are linked with age-related neurodegenerative disorders. We sought to examine a possible association of rare sequence variants in NPC1 and NPC2 with Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and to genetically determine the proportion of potentially misdiagnosed NPC patients in these neurodegenerative conditions. By means of high-resolution melting, we screened the coding regions of NPC1 and NPC2 for rare genetic variation in a homogenous German sample of patients clinically diagnosed with PD (n = 563), FTLD (n = 133) and PSP (n = 94), and 846 population-based controls. The frequencies of rare sequence variants in NPC1/2 did not differ significantly between patients and controls. Disease-associated NPC1/2 mutations were found in six PD patients (1.1%) and seven control subjects (0.8%), but not in FTLD or PSP. All rare variation was detected in the heterozygous state and no compound heterozygotes were observed. Our data do not support the hypothesis that rare NPC1/2 variants confer susceptibility for PD, FTLD, or PSP in the German population. Misdiagnosed NPC patients were not present in our samples. However, further assessment of NPC disease genes in age-related neurodegeneration is warranted. PMID:24386122

  18. The Broad Impact of TOM40 on Neurodegenerative Diseases in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Gottschalk, William K.; Lutz, Michael W.; He, Yu Ting; Saunders, Ann M.; Burns, Daniel K.; Roses, Allen D.; Chiba-Falek, Ornit

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is an important factor in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s spectrum disorders. A polymorphism in Translocase of the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane – 40 kD (TOMM40) is associated with risk and age-of onset of late-onset AD, and is the only nuclear- encoded gene identified in genetic studies to date that presumably contributes to LOAD-related mitochondria dysfunction. In this review, we describe the TOM40-mediated mitochondrial protein import mechanism, and discuss the evidence linking TOM40 with Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s (PD) diseases. All but 36 of the >~1,500 mitochondrial proteins are encoded by the nucleus and are synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes, and most of these are imported into mitochondria through the TOM complex, of which TOM40 is the central pore, mediating communication between the cytoplasm and the mitochondrial interior. APP enters and obstructs the TOM40 pore, inhibiting import of OXPHOS-related proteins and disrupting the mitochondrial redox balance. Other pathogenic proteins, such as Aβ and alpha-synuclein, readily pass through the pore and cause toxic effects by directly inhibiting mitochondrial enzymes. Healthy mitochondria normally import and degrade the PD-related protein Pink1, but Pink1 exits mitochondria if the membrane potential collapses and initiates Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Under normal circumstances, this process helps clear dysfunctional mitochondria and contributes to cellular health, but PINK1 mutations associated with PD exit mitochondria with intact membrane potentials, disrupting mitochondrial dynamics, leading to pathology. Thus, TOM40 plays a central role in the mitochondrial dysfunction that underlies age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Learning about the factors that control TOM40 levels and activity, and how TOM40, specifically, and the TOM complex, generally, interacts with potentially pathogenic

  19. Neurofilament Light Chain in Blood and CSF as Marker of Disease Progression in Mouse Models and in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Bacioglu, Mehtap; Maia, Luis F; Preische, Oliver; Schelle, Juliane; Apel, Anja; Kaeser, Stephan A; Schweighauser, Manuel; Eninger, Timo; Lambert, Marius; Pilotto, Andrea; Shimshek, Derya R; Neumann, Ulf; Kahle, Philipp J; Staufenbiel, Matthias; Neumann, Manuela; Maetzler, Walter; Kuhle, Jens; Jucker, Mathias

    2016-07-01

    A majority of current disease-modifying therapeutic approaches for age-related neurodegenerative diseases target their characteristic proteopathic lesions (α-synuclein, Tau, Aβ). To monitor such treatments, fluid biomarkers reflecting the underlying disease process are crucial. We found robust increases of neurofilament light chain (NfL) in CSF and blood in murine models of α-synucleinopathies, tauopathy, and β-amyloidosis. Blood and CSF NfL levels were strongly correlated, and NfL increases coincided with the onset and progression of the corresponding proteopathic lesions in brain. Experimental induction of α-synuclein lesions increased CSF and blood NfL levels, while blocking Aβ lesions attenuated the NfL increase. Consistently, we also found NfL increases in CSF and blood of human α-synucleinopathies, tauopathies, and Alzheimer's disease. Our results suggest that CSF and particularly blood NfL can serve as a reliable and easily accessible biomarker to monitor disease progression and treatment response in mouse models and potentially in human proteopathic neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27292537

  20. Quetiapine for Psychosis in Parkinson Disease and Neurodegenerative Parkinsonian Disorders: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Desmarais, Philippe; Massoud, Fadi; Filion, Josée; Nguyen, Quoc Dinh; Bajsarowicz, Paulina

    2016-07-01

    We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials to assess the high-level evidence regarding the role of quetiapine in the treatment of psychosis in patients with neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorders. Studies were included in the qualitative review if they (1) enrolled participants with diagnosis of Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia, or any other neurodegenerative parkinsonian disorders; (2) assessed the efficacy of quetiapine; and (3) evaluated psychotic and motor outcomes using validated tools. Of the 341 manuscripts identified, 7 studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. The studies' risk of bias was considered low. A total of 241 participants enrolled in these trials. Heterogeneity was high due to inclusion criteria, user definitions, assessment tools, and study design. Although not causing any motor deterioration, quetiapine failed to significantly reduce psychotic symptoms compared to placebo when objectively assessed on the Brief Psychotic Rating Scale, the most frequently reported scale in these studies. High loss to follow-up and dropout rates as well as significant improvement in psychotic symptoms in the placebo groups may have affected measurements of possible positive medication effects. PMID:27056066

  1. Larger aggregates of mutant seipin in Celia's Encephalopathy, a new protein misfolding neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Riquelme, Alejandro; Sánchez-Iglesias, Sofía; Rábano, Alberto; Guillén-Navarro, Encarna; Domingo-Jiménez, Rosario; Ramos, Adriana; Rosa, Isaac; Senra, Ana; Nilsson, Peter; García, Ángel; Araújo-Vilar, David; Requena, Jesús R

    2015-11-01

    Celia's Encephalopathy (MIM #615924) is a recently discovered fatal neurodegenerative syndrome associated with a new BSCL2 mutation (c.985C>T) that results in an aberrant isoform of seipin (Celia seipin). This mutation is lethal in both homozygosity and compounded heterozygosity with a lipodystrophic BSCL2 mutation, resulting in a progressive encephalopathy with fatal outcomes at ages 6-8. Strikingly, heterozygous carriers are asymptomatic, conflicting with the gain of toxic function attributed to this mutation. Here we report new key insights about the molecular pathogenic mechanism of this new syndrome. Intranuclear inclusions containing mutant seipin were found in brain tissue from a homozygous patient suggesting a pathogenic mechanism similar to other neurodegenerative diseases featuring brain accumulation of aggregated, misfolded proteins. Sucrose gradient distribution showed that mutant seipin forms much larger aggregates as compared with wild type (wt) seipin, indicating an impaired oligomerization. On the other hand, the interaction between wt and Celia seipin confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation (CoIP) assays, together with the identification of mixed oligomers in sucrose gradient fractionation experiments can explain the lack of symptoms in heterozygous carriers. We propose that the increased aggregation and subsequent impaired oligomerization of Celia seipin leads to cell death. In heterozygous carriers, wt seipin might prevent the damage caused by mutant seipin through its sequestration into harmless mixed oligomers. PMID:26282322

  2. Nanocomposites for neurodegenerative diseases: hydrogel-nanoparticle combinations for a challenging drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Giordano, Carmen; Albani, Diego; Gloria, Antonio; Tunesi, Marta; Rodilossi, Serena; Russo, Teresa; Forloni, Gianluigi; Ambrosio, Luigi; Cigada, Alberto

    2011-12-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are expected to strike social and health care systems of developed countries heavily in the coming decades. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases (AD/PD) are the most prevalent neurodegenerative pathologies, and currently their available therapy is only symptomatic. However, innovative potential drugs are actively under development, though their efficacy is sometimes limited by poor brain bioavailability and/or sustained peripheral degradation. To partly overcome these constraints, the development of drug delivery devices made by biocompatible and easily administrable materials might be a great adjuvant. In particular, materials science can provide a powerful tool to design hydrogels and nanoparticles as basic components of more complex nanocomposites that might ameliorate drug or cell delivery in AD/PD. This kind of approach is particularly promising for intranasal delivery, which might increase brain targeting of neuroprotective molecules or proteins. Here we review these issues, with a focus on nanoparticles as nanocomponents able to carry and tune drug release in the central nervous system, without ignoring warnings concerning their potential toxicity. PMID:22198597

  3. Tool use disorders in neurodegenerative diseases: Roles of semantic memory and technical reasoning.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Josselin; Lesourd, Mathieu; Jarry, Christophe; Merck, Catherine; Etcharry-Bouyx, Frédérique; Chauviré, Valérie; Belliard, Serge; Moreaud, Olivier; Croisile, Bernard; Osiurak, François; Le Gall, Didier

    2016-09-01

    In the field of apraxia, it has been suggested that the ability to use tools and objects in daily life depends not only on semantic knowledge about tool function and context of use but also on technical reasoning about mechanical properties of tools and objects. The aim of the present work was to assess tool use abilities regarding these hypotheses in patients with neurodegenerative diseases and reduced autonomy. Performance of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n = 31), semantic dementia (SD) (n = 16) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS) (n = 7) was compared to that of healthy control participants (n = 31) in familiar tool use tasks, functional/contextual associations and mechanical problem solving (MPS). A conversion method was applied to data in order to avoid ceiling effects. Tool use disorders were found in all patient groups but the underlying reasons were different. Patients with SD had difficulties in imagining and selecting familiar tools due to the semantic loss but they performed in normal range in MPS tasks. Interestingly, they performed better with only one tool and its corresponding object, which is interpreted as a partial compensation of semantic loss by spared technical reasoning. Patients with CBS exhibited the reverse pattern, that is, MPS deficits without semantic loss. However, additional qualitative research is needed to disentangle the relative contributions of motor and technical reasoning deficits to this pattern. Both of these profiles were found in patients with AD. For all that, these patients did not commit the same errors as stroke patients with left brain-damage documented in previous works. Several hypotheses are proposed to account for the specificity of tool use disorders in neurodegenerative diseases, and recommendations are provided to caregivers. PMID:27376932

  4. The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Scotter, Emma L; Abood, Mary E; Glass, Michelle

    2010-01-01

    The Cannabis sativa plant has been exploited for medicinal, agricultural and spiritual purposes in diverse cultures over thousands of years. Cannabis has been used recreationally for its psychotropic properties, while effects such as stimulation of appetite, analgesia and anti-emesis have lead to the medicinal application of cannabis. Indeed, reports of medicinal efficacy of cannabis can been traced back as far as 2700 BC, and even at that time reports also suggested a neuroprotective effect of the cultivar. The discovery of the psychoactive component of cannabis resin, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) occurred long before the serendipitous identification of a G-protein coupled receptor at which Δ9-THC is active in the brain. The subsequent finding of endogenous cannabinoid compounds, the synthesis of which is directed by neuronal excitability and which in turn served to regulate that excitability, further widened the range of potential drug targets through which the endocannabinoid system can be manipulated. As a result of this, alterations in the endocannabinoid system have been extensively investigated in a range of neurodegenerative disorders. In this review we examine the evidence implicating the endocannabinoid system in the cause, symptomatology or treatment of neurodegenerative disease. We examine data from human patients and compare and contrast this with evidence from animal models of these diseases. On the basis of this evidence we discuss the likely efficacy of endocannabinoid-based therapies in each disease context. This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids. To view the editorial for this themed issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00831.x PMID:20590559

  5. Identification of novel susceptibility loci for Guam neurodegenerative disease: challenges of genome scans in genetic isolates

    PubMed Central

    Sieh, Weiva; Choi, Yoonha; Chapman, Nicola H.; Craig, Ulla-Katrina; Steinbart, Ellen J.; Rothstein, Joseph H.; Oyanagi, Kiyomitsu; Garruto, Ralph M.; Bird, Thomas D.; Galasko, Douglas R.; Schellenberg, Gerard D.; Wijsman, Ellen M.

    2009-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism–dementia complex (ALS/PDC) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease found in the Chamorro people of Guam and other Pacific Island populations. The etiology is unknown, although both genetic and environmental factors appear important. To identify loci for ALS/PDC, we conducted both genome-wide linkage and association analyses, using approximately 400 microsatellite markers, in the largest sample assembled to date, comprising a nearly complete sample of all living and previously sampled deceased cases. A single, large, complex pedigree was ascertained from a village on Guam, with smaller families and a case–control sample ascertained from the rest of Guam by population-based neurological screening and archival review. We found significant evidence for two regions with novel ALS/PDC loci on chromosome 12 and supportive evidence for the involvement of the MAPT region on chromosome 17. D12S1617 on 12p gave the strongest evidence of linkage (maximum LOD score, Zmax = 4.03) in our initial scan, with additional support in the complete case–control sample in the form of evidence of allelic association at this marker and another nearby marker. D12S79 on 12q also provided significant evidence of linkage (Zmax = 3.14) with support from flanking markers. Our results suggest that ALS/PDC may be influenced by as many as three loci, while illustrating challenges that are intrinsic in genetic analyses of isolated populations, as well as analytical strategies that are useful in this context. Elucidation of the genetic basis of ALS/PDC should improve our understanding of related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, frontotemporal dementia and ALS. PMID:19567404

  6. Prion-like domains as epigenetic regulators, scaffolds for subcellular organization, and drivers of neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    March, Zachary M; King, Oliver D; Shorter, James

    2016-09-15

    Key challenges faced by all cells include how to spatiotemporally organize complex biochemistry and how to respond to environmental fluctuations. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae harnesses alternative protein folding mediated by yeast prion domains (PrDs) for rapid evolution of new traits in response to environmental stress. Increasingly, it is appreciated that low complexity domains similar in amino acid composition to yeast PrDs (prion-like domains; PrLDs) found in metazoa have a prominent role in subcellular cytoplasmic organization, especially in relation to RNA homeostasis. In this review, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the role of prions in enabling rapid adaptation to environmental stress in yeast. We also present the complete list of human proteins with PrLDs and discuss the prevalence of the PrLD in nucleic-acid binding proteins that are often connected to neurodegenerative disease, including: ataxin 1, ataxin 2, FUS, TDP-43, TAF15, EWSR1, hnRNPA1, and hnRNPA2. Recent paradigm-shifting advances establish that PrLDs undergo phase transitions to liquid states, which contribute to the structure and biophysics of diverse membraneless organelles. This structural functionality of PrLDs, however, simultaneously increases their propensity for deleterious protein-misfolding events that drive neurodegenerative disease. We suggest that even these PrLD-misfolding events are not irreversible and can be mitigated by natural or engineered protein disaggregases, which could have important therapeutic applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:RNA Metabolism in Disease. PMID:26996412

  7. Uncoupling neuronal death and dysfunction in Drosophila models of neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Chouhan, Amit K; Guo, Caiwei; Hsieh, Yi-Chen; Ye, Hui; Senturk, Mumine; Zuo, Zhongyuan; Li, Yarong; Chatterjee, Shreyasi; Botas, Juan; Jackson, George R; Bellen, Hugo J; Shulman, Joshua M

    2016-01-01

    Common neurodegenerative proteinopathies, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), are characterized by the misfolding and aggregation of toxic protein species, including the amyloid beta (Aß) peptide, microtubule-associated protein Tau (Tau), and alpha-synuclein (αSyn) protein. These factors also show toxicity in Drosophila; however, potential limitations of prior studies include poor discrimination between effects on the adult versus developing nervous system and neuronal versus glial cell types. In addition, variable expression paradigms and outcomes hinder systematic comparison of toxicity profiles. Using standardized conditions and medium-throughput assays, we express human Tau, Aß or αSyn selectively in neurons of the adult Drosophila retina and monitor age-dependent changes in both structure and function, based on tissue histology and recordings of the electroretinogram (ERG), respectively. We find that each protein causes a unique profile of neurodegenerative pathology, demonstrating distinct and separable impacts on neuronal death and dysfunction. Strikingly, expression of Tau leads to progressive loss of ERG responses whereas retinal architecture and neuronal numbers are largely preserved. By contrast, Aß induces modest, age-dependent neuronal loss without degrading the retinal ERG. αSyn expression, using a codon-optimized transgene, is characterized by marked retinal vacuolar change, progressive photoreceptor cell death, and delayed-onset but modest ERG changes. Lastly, to address potential mechanisms, we perform transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to reveal potential degenerative changes at the ultrastructural level. Surprisingly, Tau and αSyn each cause prominent but distinct synaptotoxic profiles, including disorganization or enlargement of photoreceptor terminals, respectively. Our findings highlight variable and dynamic properties of neurodegeneration triggered by these disease-relevant proteins in vivo, and suggest

  8. Right Anterior Insula: Core Region of Hallucinations in Cognitive Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Blanc, Frédéric; Noblet, Vincent; Philippi, Nathalie; Cretin, Benjamin; Foucher, Jack; Armspach, Jean-Paul; Rousseau, François

    2014-01-01

    Objectives We investigated the neural basis of hallucinations Alzheimer's disease (AD) by applying voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to anatomical and functional data from the AD Neuroimaging Initiative. Methods AD patients with hallucinations, based on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-Q) (AD-hallu group; n = 39), were compared to AD patients without hallucinations matched for age, sex, educational level, handedness and MMSE (AD-c group; n = 39). Focal brain volume on MRI was analyzed and compared between the two groups according to the VBM method. We also performed voxel-level correlations between brain volume and hallucinations intensity. A similar paradigm was used for the PET analysis. “Core regions” (i.e. regions identified in both MRI and PET analyses, simply done by retaining the clusters obtained from the two analyses that are overlapping) were then determined. Results Regions with relative atrophy in association with hallucinations were: anterior part of the right insula, left superior frontal gyrus and lingual gyri. Regions with relative hypometabolism in association with hallucinations were a large right ventral and dorsolateral prefrontal area. "Core region" in association with hallucinations was the right anterior part of the insula. Correlations between intensity of hallucinations and brain volume were found in the right anterior insula, precentral gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, and left precuneus. Correlations between intensity of hallucinations and brain hypometabolism were found in the left midcingulate gyrus. We checked the neuropathological status and we found that the 4 patients autopsied in the AD-hallu group had the mixed pathology AD and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Conclusion Neural basis of hallucinations in cognitive neurodegenerative diseases (AD or AD and DLB) include a right predominant anterior-posterior network, and the anterior insula as the core region. This study is coherent with the top-down/bottom-up hypotheses on

  9. In search of innovative therapeutics for neuropsychiatric disorders: the case of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Féger, J; Hirsch, E C

    2015-01-01

    The recent medical literature highlights the lack of new drugs able to prevent or treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease or Parkinson disease. Yet, the prevalence of these diseases is growing, related to increasing life expectancy, and is leading to a rise in their economic and social cost. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies are reducing or halting their investment in neuropharmacological research. Why have advances in basic neuroscience and our understanding of these diseases not allowed innovative discoveries in drug research? This review will try to explain this failure and suggest possible solutions: develop basic and clinical research but with the emphasis on translational and truly collaborative research; improve preclinical studies by developing more appropriate animal models, using new biomarkers and methodologies such as imaging suitable for clinical trials, providing worthwhile information on the ability of the drug to reach its intended target and induce significant pharmacological changes; build a new system of research management, based on stronger interdisciplinary relations between preclinical and clinical research and including the introduction of international precompetitive research between academic teams, start-up companies and pharmaceutical laboratories; hold early discussions with the regulatory authorities during preclinical studies and at the beginning of clinical trials in order to validate the methodological approaches; involve patients' associations in this new organization of research. These changes should help to ensure the discovery of effective treatments for these pathologies. PMID:25577012

  10. Genetic and Transcriptomic Profiles of Inflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Alzheimer, Parkinson, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Tauopathies

    PubMed Central

    López González, Irene; Garcia-Esparcia, Paula; Llorens, Franc; Ferrer, Isidre

    2016-01-01

    Polymorphisms in certain inflammatory-related genes have been identified as putative differential risk factors of neurodegenerative diseases with abnormal protein aggregates, such as sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and sporadic Parkinson’s disease (sPD). Gene expression studies of cytokines and mediators of the immune response have been made in post-mortem human brain samples in AD, sPD, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) subtypes MM1 and VV2, Pick’s disease (PiD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration linked to mutation P301L in MAPT Frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau (FTLD-tau). The studies have disclosed variable gene regulation which is: (1) disease-dependent in the frontal cortex area 8 in AD, sPD, sCJD MM1 and VV2, PiD, PSP and FTLD-tau; (2) region-dependent as seen when comparing the entorhinal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and frontal cortex area 8 (FC) in AD; the substantia nigra, putamen, FC, and angular gyrus in PD, as well as the FC and cerebellum in sCJD; (3) genotype-dependent as seen considering sCJD MM1 and VV2; and (4) stage-dependent as seen in AD at different stages of disease progression. These observations show that regulation of inflammation is much more complicated and diverse than currently understood, and that new therapeutic approaches must be designed in order to selectively act on specific targets in particular diseases and at different time points of disease progression. PMID:26861289

  11. Genetic and Transcriptomic Profiles of Inflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Alzheimer, Parkinson, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Tauopathies.

    PubMed

    López González, Irene; Garcia-Esparcia, Paula; Llorens, Franc; Ferrer, Isidre

    2016-01-01

    Polymorphisms in certain inflammatory-related genes have been identified as putative differential risk factors of neurodegenerative diseases with abnormal protein aggregates, such as sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) and sporadic Parkinson's disease (sPD). Gene expression studies of cytokines and mediators of the immune response have been made in post-mortem human brain samples in AD, sPD, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) subtypes MM1 and VV2, Pick's disease (PiD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration linked to mutation P301L in MAPT Frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau (FTLD-tau). The studies have disclosed variable gene regulation which is: (1) disease-dependent in the frontal cortex area 8 in AD, sPD, sCJD MM1 and VV2, PiD, PSP and FTLD-tau; (2) region-dependent as seen when comparing the entorhinal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and frontal cortex area 8 (FC) in AD; the substantia nigra, putamen, FC, and angular gyrus in PD, as well as the FC and cerebellum in sCJD; (3) genotype-dependent as seen considering sCJD MM1 and VV2; and (4) stage-dependent as seen in AD at different stages of disease progression. These observations show that regulation of inflammation is much more complicated and diverse than currently understood, and that new therapeutic approaches must be designed in order to selectively act on specific targets in particular diseases and at different time points of disease progression. PMID:26861289

  12. The causative role and therapeutic potential of the kynurenine pathway in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Marta; Outeiro, Tiago F; Scrutton, Nigel S; Giorgini, Flaviano

    2013-06-01

    Metabolites of the kynurenine pathway (KP), which arise from the degradation of tryptophan, have been studied in detail for over a century and garnered the interest of the neuroscience community in the late 1970s and early 1980s with work uncovering the neuromodulatory potential of this pathway. Much research in the following decades has found that perturbations in the levels of KP metabolites likely contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. More recently, it has become apparent that targeting KP enzymes, in particular kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO), may hold substantial therapeutic potential for these disorders. Here we provide an overview of the KP, the neuroactive properties of KP metabolites and their role in neurodegeneration. We also discuss KMO as a therapeutic target for these disorders, and our recent resolution of the crystallographic structure of KMO, which will permit the development of new and improved KMO inhibitors which may ultimately expedite clinical application of these compounds. PMID:23636512

  13. Microtubule Stabilizing Agents as Potential Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Neurodegenerative Tauopathies

    PubMed Central

    Ballatore, Carlo; Brunden, Kurt R.; Huryn, Donna M.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Smith, Amos B.

    2012-01-01

    The microtubule (MT)-associated protein tau, which is highly expressed in the axons of neurons, is an endogenous MT-stabilizing agent that plays an important role in the axonal transport. Loss of MT-stabilizing tau function, caused by misfolding, hyperphosphorylation and sequestration of tau into insoluble aggregates, leads to axonal transport deficits with neuropathological consequences. Several in vitro and preclinical in vivo studies have shown that MT-stabilizing drugs can be utilized to compensate for the loss of tau function and to maintain/restore an effective axonal transport. These findings indicate that MT-stabilizing compounds hold considerable promise for the treatment of Alzheimer disease and related tauopathies. The present article provides a synopsis of the key findings demonstrating the therapeutic potential of MT-stabilizing drugs in the context of neurodegenerative tauopathies, as well as an overview of the different classes of MT-stabilizing compounds. PMID:23020671

  14. Midkine and Pleiotrophin in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Drug Addiction.

    PubMed

    Alguacil, Luis F; Herradón, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    Pleiotrophin (PTN) and Midkine (MK) are neurotrophines with documented protective actions in experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases and beneficial effects on toxicity and addictive behaviours related to drug abuse. Concerning the latter, both PTN and MK prevent the neurotoxic effects of amphetamine on nigrostriatal pathways and endogenous PTN also limits amphetamine reward. Moreover, endogenous PTN overexpression in the prefontral cortex abolishes alcohol- induced conditioned place preference. This review summarizes the existing patents for using PTN and MK in the treatment and diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders with a focus on neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration and substance use disorders. We have also reviewed the mechanism of action of PTN and MK and summarized existing patents on downstream modulators in their signaling pathways for the same indications. PMID:25808239

  15. Supplemental Substances Derived from Foods as Adjunctive Therapeutic Agents for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Disorders12

    PubMed Central

    Bigford, Gregory E.; Del Rossi, Gianluca

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders and diseases (NDDs) that are either chronically acquired or triggered by a singular detrimental event are a rapidly growing cause of disability and/or death. In recent times, there have been major advancements in our understanding of various neurodegenerative disease states that have revealed common pathologic features or mechanisms. The many mechanistic parallels discovered between various neurodegenerative diseases suggest that a single therapeutic approach may be used to treat multiple disease conditions. Of late, natural compounds and supplemental substances have become an increasingly attractive option to treat NDDs because there is growing evidence that these nutritional constituents have potential adjunctive therapeutic effects (be it protective or restorative) on various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review relevant experimental and clinical data on supplemental substances (i.e., curcuminoids, rosmarinic acid, resveratrol, acetyl-l-carnitine, and ω-3 (n–3) polyunsaturated fatty acids) that have demonstrated encouraging therapeutic effects on chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration resulting from acute adverse events, such as traumatic brain injury. PMID:25022989

  16. NeuroTransDB: highly curated and structured transcriptomic metadata for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bagewadi, Shweta; Adhikari, Subash; Dhrangadhariya, Anjani; Irin, Afroza Khanam; Ebeling, Christian; Namasivayam, Aishwarya Alex; Page, Matthew; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are chronic debilitating conditions, characterized by progressive loss of neurons that represent a significant health care burden as the global elderly population continues to grow. Over the past decade, high-throughput technologies such as the Affymetrix GeneChip microarrays have provided new perspectives into the pathomechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Public transcriptomic data repositories, namely Gene Expression Omnibus and curated ArrayExpress, enable researchers to conduct integrative meta-analysis; increasing the power to detect differentially regulated genes in disease and explore patterns of gene dysregulation across biologically related studies. The reliability of retrospective, large-scale integrative analyses depends on an appropriate combination of related datasets, in turn requiring detailed meta-annotations capturing the experimental setup. In most cases, we observe huge variation in compliance to defined standards for submitted metadata in public databases. Much of the information to complete, or refine meta-annotations are distributed in the associated publications. For example, tissue preparation or comorbidity information is frequently described in an article’s supplementary tables. Several value-added databases have employed additional manual efforts to overcome this limitation. However, none of these databases explicate annotations that distinguish human and animal models in neurodegeneration context. Therefore, adopting a more specific disease focus, in combination with dedicated disease ontologies, will better empower the selection of comparable studies with refined annotations to address the research question at hand. In this article, we describe the detailed development of NeuroTransDB, a manually curated database containing metadata annotations for neurodegenerative studies. The database contains more than 20 dimensions of metadata annotations within 31 mouse, 5 rat and 45 human studies, defined in

  17. Structure based molecular inhibition of Caspase-8 for treatment of multi-neurodegenerative diseases using known natural compounds

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Khurshid; Khan, Saif; Adil, Mohd; Saeed, Mohd; Srivastava, Ashwini Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders are often associated with excessive neuronal apoptosis. It is well known that apoptosis is regulated by some intracellular proteases, such as, Caspases (cysteine-dependent, aspartate-specific proteases). In fact, Caspase-8 which is an initiator caspase, has been identified as a key mediator of neuronal apoptosis. In addition, Caspase-8 is found to be coupled with the regulation of various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer׳s disease (AD), Parkinson׳s disease (PD), Huntington׳s Diseases (HD) and Dentatorubral Pallidoluysian Atrophy (DRPLA). Caspase-8 inhibition may provide an effective means of treatment for multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, the present study describes the molecular interaction of some selected natural compounds with known anti neurodegenerative properties with Caspase-8. Docking between Caspase-8 and each of these compounds (separately) was performed using ‘Autodock4.2’. Out of all the selected compounds, rosmarinic acid and curcumin proved to be the most potent inhibitors of Caspase-8 with binding energy (ΔG) of -7.10 Kcal/mol and -7.08 Kcal/mol, respectively. However, further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to validate the anti-neurodegenerative potential of these compounds. PMID:24966519

  18. Amyloid Precursor Protein and Alpha Synuclein Translation, Implications for Iron and Inflammation in Neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, Catherine M.; Lahiri, Debomoy K.; Huang, Xudong; Rogers, Jack T.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Recent studies that alleles in the hemochromatosis gene may accelerate the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by five years have validated interest in the model in which metals (particularly iron) accelerate disease course. Biochemical and biophysical measurements demonstrated the presence of elevated levels of neurotoxic copper, zinc and iron in the brains of AD patients. Intracellular levels of amyloid precursor protein (APP) holoprotein were shown to be modulated via iron by a mechanism that is similar to the translation control of the ferritin L- and H mRNAs by Iron-responsive Element (IRE) RNA stem loops in their 5′untranslated regions (5′UTRs). Recently, we reported a putative IRE-like sequence to be present in the 5′UTR of the Parkinson's disease (PD) specific alpha synuclein (ASYN) transcript. ASYN encodes the non-Aβ component (NAC) of amyloid plaques. The demonstration of iron-dependent translation of APP mRNA, the involvement of metals in the plaque of AD patients and of increased iron in striatal neurons in the Substantia nigra (SN) of PD patients, have each encouraged the development of metal attenuating agents and iron chelators as a major new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these neurodegenerative diseases. In the case of AD, metal based therapeutics may ultimately prove more cost effective than the use of an amyloid vaccine as the preferred anti-amyloid therapeutic strategy to ameliorate the cognitive decline of AD patients. PMID:19166904

  19. Changes in the mitochondrial antioxidant systems in neurodegenerative diseases and acute brain disorders.

    PubMed

    Ruszkiewicz, Joanna; Albrecht, Jan

    2015-09-01

    Oxidative and nitrosative stress (ONS) contributes to the pathogenesis of most brain maladies, and the magnitude of ONS is related to the ability of cellular antioxidants to neutralize the accumulating reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). While the major ROS/RNS scavengers and regenerators of bio-oxidized molecules, superoxide dysmutases (SODs), glutathione (GSH), thioredoxin (Trx) and peroxiredoxin (Prx), are distributed in all cellular compartments. This review specifically focuses on the role of the systems operating in mitochondria. There is a growing consensus that the mitochondrial SOD isoform - SOD2 and GSH are critical for the cellular antioxidant defense. Variable changes of the expression or activities of one or more of the mitochondrial antioxidant systems have been documented in the brains derived from human patients and/or in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease), cerebral ischemia, toxic brain cell damage associated with overexposure to mercury or excitotoxins, or hepatic encephalopathy. In many cases, ambiguity of the responses of the different antioxidant systems in one and the same disease needs to be more conclusively evaluated before the balance of the changes is viewed as beneficial or detrimental. Modulation of the mitochondrial antioxidant systems may in the future become a target of antioxidant therapy. PMID:25576182

  20. Role of Epigenetics in Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation: Implications for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Srinageshwar, Bhairavi; Maiti, Panchanan; Dunbar, Gary L.; Rossignol, Julien

    2016-01-01

    The main objectives of this review are to survey the current literature on the role of epigenetics in determining the fate of stem cells and to assess how this information can be used to enhance the treatment strategies for some neurodegenerative disorders, like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which have a direct impact on the way that genes are expressed in stem cells and how they drive these cells into a mature lineage. Understanding how the stem cells are behaving and giving rise to mature cells can be used to inform researchers on effective ways to design stem cell-based treatments. In this review article, the way in which the basic understanding of how manipulating this process can be utilized to treat certain neurological diseases will be presented. Different genetic factors and their epigenetic changes during reprogramming of stem cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have significant potential for enhancing the efficacy of cell replacement therapies. PMID:26848657

  1. Redox Regulation of Protein Function via Cysteine S-Nitrosylation and Its Relevance to Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sunico, Carmen R.; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2012-01-01

    Debilitating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), can be attributed to neuronal cell damage in specific brain regions. An important hallmark of these diseases is increased oxidative and nitrosative stress that occurs via overproduction of highly reactive free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). These molecules are normally removed by cellular antioxidant systems. Under physiological conditions, ROS/RNS are present at low levels, mediating several neurotrophic and neuroprotective signaling pathways. In contrast, under pathological conditions, there is a pronounced increase in ROS/RNS generation, impairing normal neurological function. Nitric oxide (NO) is one such molecule that functions as a signaling agent under physiological conditions but causes nitrosative stress under pathological conditions due to its enhanced production. As first reported by our group and colleagues, the toxic effects of NO can be in part attributed to thiol S-nitrosylation, a posttranslational modification of cysteine residues on specific proteins. Here, we review several reports appearing over the past decade showing that S-nitrosylation of an increasing number of proteins compromises important cellular functions, including mitochondrial dynamics, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein folding, and signal transduction, thereby promoting synaptic damage, cell death, and neurodegeneration. PMID:22956959

  2. Role of Epigenetics in Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation: Implications for Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Srinageshwar, Bhairavi; Maiti, Panchanan; Dunbar, Gary L; Rossignol, Julien

    2016-01-01

    The main objectives of this review are to survey the current literature on the role of epigenetics in determining the fate of stem cells and to assess how this information can be used to enhance the treatment strategies for some neurodegenerative disorders, like Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Some of these epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which have a direct impact on the way that genes are expressed in stem cells and how they drive these cells into a mature lineage. Understanding how the stem cells are behaving and giving rise to mature cells can be used to inform researchers on effective ways to design stem cell-based treatments. In this review article, the way in which the basic understanding of how manipulating this process can be utilized to treat certain neurological diseases will be presented. Different genetic factors and their epigenetic changes during reprogramming of stem cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have significant potential for enhancing the efficacy of cell replacement therapies. PMID:26848657

  3. SHEDDING NEW LIGHT ON NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES THROUGH THE MAMMALIAN TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Wang, Shaohui; Maiese, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders affect a significant portion of the world's population leading to either disability or death for almost 30 million individuals worldwide. One novel therapeutic target that may offer promise for multiple disease entities that involve Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, trauma, stroke, and tumors of the nervous system is the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). mTOR signaling is dependent upon the mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes that are composed of mTOR and several regulatory proteins including the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC1, hamartin/ TSC2, tuberin). Through a number of integrated cell signaling pathways that involve those of mTORC1 and mTORC2 as well as more novel signaling tied to cytokines, Wnt, and forkhead, mTOR can foster stem cellular proliferation, tissue repair and longevity, and synaptic growth by modulating mechanisms that foster both apoptosis and autophagy. Yet, mTOR through its proliferative capacity may sometimes be detrimental to central nervous system recovery and even promote tumorigenesis. Further knowledge of mTOR and the critical pathways governed by this serine/threonine protein kinase can bring new light for neurodegeneration and other related diseases that currently require new and robust treatments. PMID:22980037

  4. Mitotic activation: a convergent mechanism for a cohort of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Husseman, J W; Nochlin, D; Vincent, I

    2000-01-01

    Previous evidence from our lab and others has implicated the mitotic cdc2/cyclin B1 kinase in the neurofibrillary degeneration of Alzheimer's disease. To examine the specificity of this relationship, and define conditions leading to atypical activation of mitotic kinase in postmitotic neurons, we have applied antibodies specific for the cdc2 kinase, its activator, cyclin B1, and three cdc2 produced phosphoepitopes: the TG-3 phosphoepitope in tau and nucleolin, the MPM-2 phosphoepitope in a variety of substrates, and the H5 phosphoepitope in RNA polymerase II, to affected brain regions from a spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders. Our results demonstrate that neurons containing characteristic lesions in a subset of diseases including Down Syndrome (DS), Frontotemporal Dementia linked to chromosome 17 (FTD-17), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), Parkinson-Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis of Guam (GP-ALS), Niemann Pick disease type C (NPDC), and Pick's disease, display mitotic indices, implicating diverse etiologies in mitotic activation. The convergence of various degenerative schemes into a unified mitotic kinase-driven pathway provides a common target for therapeutic treatment of these different disorders. PMID:11124425

  5. Phosphodiesterase as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Paterniti, Irene; Esposito, Emanuela; Cuzzocrea, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Interest in Central Nervous System (CNS) inflammation has rapidly grown over the past decade driven by the increasing evidence indicating that chronic inflammation and neuroinflammation in the brain may play an important role in the progressive neuronal cell death in many chronic CNS diseases, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury (SCI), as well as pathologies associated with CNS infections. In peripheral tissues, generally inflammation has a protective role limiting the survival and proliferation of invading pathogens, promoting tissue repair and recovery. This innate response normally resolves over a few weeks, accompanyied by tissue repair aided by macrophages recruited to the site. However, when the inflammatory response does not undergo resolution, it might turn into chronic inflammation. Any chronic inflammatory process can damage healthy tissue and the brain may be particularly vulnerable, since destroyed neurons can not be replaced. Recently, several reports have suggested that phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are new targets for central nervous system (CNS) diseases. All the PDEs are expressed in the CNS, making this gene family a particularly attractive source of new targets for the treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Significantly, all neurons express multiple PDEs, which differ in cyclic nucleotide specificity, affinity, regulatory control and subcellular compartmentalization. Therefore, PDEs inhibition represents a mechanism through which it could be possible to precisely modulate neuronal activity. In this article, we review the current state of art of PDEs in the CNS diseases associated with neuroinflammation. PMID:24533816

  6. The ubiquitin-proteasome system in neurodegenerative diseases: precipitating factor, yet part of the solution

    PubMed Central

    Dantuma, Nico P.; Bott, Laura C.

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases based on the presence of deposits consisting of ubiquitylated proteins in affected neurons. It has been postulated that aggregation-prone proteins associated with these disorders, such as α-synuclein, β-amyloid peptide, and polyglutamine proteins, compromise UPS function, and delay the degradation of other proteasome substrates. Many of these substrates play important regulatory roles in signaling, cell cycle progression, or apoptosis, and their inadvertent stabilization due to an overloaded and improperly functioning UPS may thus be responsible for cellular demise in neurodegeneration. Over the past decade, numerous studies have addressed the UPS dysfunction hypothesis using various model systems and techniques that differ in their readout and sensitivity. While an inhibitory effect of some disease proteins on the UPS has been demonstrated, increasing evidence attests that the UPS remains operative in many disease models, which opens new possibilities for treatment. In this review, we will discuss the paradigm shift that repositioned the UPS from being a prime suspect in the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration to an attractive therapeutic target that can be harnessed to accelerate the clearance of disease-linked proteins. PMID:25132814

  7. Pharmacological Effects of Active Compounds on Neurodegenerative Disease with Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction, a Commonly Used Poststroke Decoction

    PubMed Central

    Chik, Stanley C. C.; Or, Terry C. T.; Luo, D.; Yang, Cindy L. H.; Lau, Allan S. Y.

    2013-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases refer to the selective loss of neuronal systems in patients. The diseases cause high morbidity and mortality to approximately 22 million people worldwide and the number is expected to be tripled by 2050. Up to now, there is no effective prevention and treatment for the neurodegenerative diseases. Although some of the clinical therapies target at slowing down the progression of symptoms of the diseases, the general effectiveness of the drugs has been far from satisfactory. Traditional Chinese medicine becomes popular alternative remedies as it has been practiced clinically for more than thousands of years in China. As neurodegenerative diseases are mediated through different pathways, herbal decoction with multiple herbs is used as an effective therapeutic approach to work on multiple targets. Gastrodia and Uncaria Decoction, a popular TCM decoction, has been used to treat stroke in China. The decoction contains compounds including alkaloids, flavonoids, iridoids, carotenoids, and natural phenols, which have been found to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antiapoptotic effects. In this review, we will summarize the recent publications of the pharmacological effects of these five groups of compounds. Understanding the mechanisms of action of these compounds may provide new treatment opportunities for the patients with neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24348193

  8. Glycosylation and other PTMs alterations in neurodegenerative diseases: Current status and future role in neurotrauma.

    PubMed

    Abou-Abbass, Hussein; Abou-El-Hassan, Hadi; Bahmad, Hisham; Zibara, Kazem; Zebian, Abir; Youssef, Rabab; Ismail, Joy; Zhu, Rui; Zhou, Shiyue; Dong, Xue; Nasser, Mayse; Bahmad, Marwan; Darwish, Hala; Mechref, Yehia; Kobeissy, Firas

    2016-06-01

    Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) present a chief public health threat affecting nations worldwide. As numbers of patients afflicted by TBI are expected to rise, the necessity to increase our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism(s) as a result of TBI mounts. TBI is known to augment the risk of developing a number of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Hence, it is rational to assume that a common mechanistic ground links the pathophysiology of NDs to that of TBIs. Through this review, we aim to identify the protein-protein interactions, differential proteins expression, and PTMs, mainly glycosylation, that are involved in the pathogenesis of both ND and TBI. OVID and PubMed have been rigorously searched to identify studies that utilized advanced proteomic platforms (MS based) and systems biology tools to unfold the mechanism(s) behind ND in an attempt to unveil the mysterious biological processes that occur postinjury. Various PTMs have been found to be common between TBI and AD, whereas no similarities have been found between TBI and PD. Phosphorylated tau protein, glycosylated amyloid precursor protein, and many other modifications appear to be common in both TBI and AD. PTMs, differential protein profiles, and altered biological pathways appear to have critical roles in ND processes by interfering with their pathological condition in a manner similar to TBI. Advancement in glycoproteomic studies pertaining to ND and TBI is urgently needed in order to develop better diagnostic tools, therapies, and more favorable prognoses. PMID:26957254

  9. Redox reactions induced by nitrosative stress mediate protein misfolding and mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gu, Zezong; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A

    2010-06-01

    Overstimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors accounts, at least in part, for excitotoxic neuronal damage, potentially contributing to a wide range of acute and chronic neurologic diseases. Neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), manifest deposits of misfolded or aggregated proteins, and result from synaptic injury and neuronal death. Recent studies have suggested that nitrosative stress due to generation of excessive nitric oxide (NO) can mediate excitotoxicity in part by triggering protein misfolding and aggregation, and mitochondrial fragmentation in the absence of genetic predisposition. S-Nitrosylation, or covalent reaction of NO with specific protein thiol groups, represents a convergent signal pathway contributing to NO-induced protein misfolding and aggregation, compromised dynamics of mitochondrial fission-fusion process, thus leading to neurotoxicity. Here, we review the effect of S-nitrosylation on protein function under excitotoxic conditions, and present evidence suggesting that NO contributes to protein misfolding and aggregation via S-nitrosylating protein-disulfide isomerase or the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin, and mitochondrial fragmentation through beta-amyloid-related S-nitrosylation of dynamin-related protein-1. Moreover, we also discuss that inhibition of excessive NMDA receptor activity by memantine, an uncompetitive/fast off-rate (UFO) drug can ameliorate excessive production of NO, protein misfolding and aggregation, mitochondrial fragmentation, and neurodegeneration. PMID:20333559

  10. Redox Reactions Induced by Nitrosative Stress Mediate Protein Misfolding and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    Overstimulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors accounts, at least in part, for excitotoxic neuronal damage, potentially contributing to a wide range of acute and chronic neurologic diseases. Neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), manifest deposits of misfolded or aggregated proteins, and result from synaptic injury and neuronal death. Recent studies have suggested that nitrosative stress due to generation of excessive nitric oxide (NO) can mediate excitotoxicity in part by triggering protein misfolding and aggregation, and mitochondrial fragmentation in the absence of genetic predisposition. S-Nitrosylation, or covalent reaction of NO with specific protein thiol groups, represents a convergent signal pathway contributing to NO-induced protein misfolding and aggregation, compromised dynamics of mitochondrial fission-fusion process, thus leading to neurotoxicity. Here, we review the effect of S-nitrosylation on protein function under excitotoxic conditions, and present evidence suggesting that NO contributes to protein misfolding and aggregation via S-nitrosylating protein-disulfide isomerase or the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin, and mitochondrial fragmentation through β-amyloid-related S-nitrosylation of dynamin-related protein-1. Moreover, we also discuss that inhibition of excessive NMDA receptor activity by memantine, an uncompetitive/fast off-rate (UFO) drug can ameliorate excessive production of NO, protein misfolding and aggregation, mitochondrial fragmentation, and neurodegeneration. PMID:20333559

  11. Mithramycin, an agent for developing new therapeutic drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Osada, Nobuhiro; Kosuge, Yasuhiro; Ishige, Kumiko; Ito, Yoshihisa

    2013-01-01

    Mithramycin A (MTM) has been shown to inhibit cancer growth by blocking the binding of Sp-family transcription factors to gene regulatory elements and is used for the treatment of leukemia and testicular cancer in the United States. In contrast, MTM has also been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in normal cells. An earlier study showed that MTM protected primary cortical neurons against oxidative stress-induced cell death. Recently, we demonstrated that MTM suppressed endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced neuronal death in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and cultured hippocampal cells through attenuation of ER stress-associated signal proteins. We also found that MTM decreased neuronal death in area CA1 of the hippocampus after transient global ischemia/reperfusion in mice and restored the ischemia/reperfusion-induced impairment of long-term potentiation in this area. MTM has been shown to prolong the survival of Huntington's disease model mice and to attenuate dopaminergic neurotoxicity in mice after repeated administration of methamphetamine. In this review, we provide an up to date overview of neuroprotective effects of MTM and less toxic MTM analogs, MTM SK and MTM SDK, on some of the neurodegenerative diseases and discuss the promise of MTM as an agent for developing new therapeutic drugs for such diseases. PMID:23902990

  12. Estimating frontal and parietal involvement in cognitive estimation: a study of focal neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bisbing, Teagan A.; Olm, Christopher A.; McMillan, Corey T.; Rascovsky, Katya; Baehr, Laura; Ternes, Kylie; Irwin, David J.; Clark, Robin; Grossman, Murray

    2015-01-01

    We often estimate an unknown value based on available relevant information, a process known as cognitive estimation. In this study, we assess the cognitive and neuroanatomic basis for quantitative estimation by examining deficits in patients with focal neurodegenerative disease in frontal and parietal cortex. Executive function and number knowledge are key components in cognitive estimation. Prefrontal cortex has been implicated in multilevel reasoning and planning processes, and parietal cortex has been associated with number knowledge required for such estimations. We administered the Biber cognitive estimation test (BCET) to assess cognitive estimation in 22 patients with prefrontal disease due to behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), to 17 patients with parietal disease due to corticobasal syndrome (CBS) or posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and 11 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Both bvFTD and CBS/PCA patients had significantly more difficulty with cognitive estimation than controls. MCI were not impaired on BCET relative to controls. Regression analyses related BCET performance to gray matter atrophy in right lateral prefrontal and orbital frontal cortices in bvFTD, and to atrophy in right inferior parietal cortex, right insula, and fusiform cortices in CBS/PCA. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a frontal-parietal network plays a crucial role in cognitive estimation. PMID:26089786

  13. Oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases: a review of upstream and downstream antioxidant therapeutic options.

    PubMed

    Uttara, Bayani; Singh, Ajay V; Zamboni, Paolo; Mahajan, R T

    2009-03-01

    Free radicals are common outcome of normal aerobic cellular metabolism. In-built antioxidant system of body plays its decisive role in prevention of any loss due to free radicals. However, imbalanced defense mechanism of antioxidants, overproduction or incorporation of free radicals from environment to living system leads to serious penalty leading to neuro-degeneration. Neural cells suffer functional or sensory loss in neurodegenerative diseases. Apart from several other environmental or genetic factors, oxidative stress (OS) leading to free radical attack on neural cells contributes calamitous role to neuro-degeneration. Though, oxygen is imperative for life, imbalanced metabolism and excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation end into a range of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, aging and many other neural disorders. Toxicity of free radicals contributes to proteins and DNA injury, inflammation, tissue damage and subsequent cellular apoptosis. Antioxidants are now being looked upon as persuasive therapeutic against solemn neuronal loss, as they have capability to combat by neutralizing free radicals. Diet is major source of antioxidants, as well as medicinal herbs are catching attention to be commercial source of antioxidants at present. Recognition of upstream and downstream antioxidant therapy to oxidative stress has been proved an effective tool in alteration of any neuronal damage as well as free radical scavenging. Antioxidants have a wide scope to sequester metal ions involved in neuronal plaque formation to prevent oxidative stress. In addition, antioxidant therapy is vital in scavenging free radicals and ROS preventing neuronal degeneration in post-oxidative stress scenario. PMID:19721819

  14. Corpora Amylacea of Brain Tissue from Neurodegenerative Diseases Are Stained with Specific Antifungal Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Pisa, Diana; Alonso, Ruth; Rábano, Alberto; Carrasco, Luis

    2016-01-01

    The origin and potential function of corpora amylacea (CA) remains largely unknown. Low numbers of CA are detected in the aging brain of normal individuals but they are abundant in the central nervous system of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we show that CA from patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) contain fungal proteins as detected by immunohistochemistry analyses. Accordingly, CA were labeled with different anti-fungal antibodies at the external surface, whereas the central portion composed of calcium salts contain less proteins. Detection of fungal proteins was achieved using a number of antibodies raised against different fungal species, which indicated cross-reactivity between the fungal proteins present in CA and the antibodies employed. Importantly, these antibodies do not immunoreact with cellular proteins. Additionally, CNS samples from patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) also contained CA that were immunoreactive with a range of antifungal antibodies. However, CA were less abundant in ALS or PD patients as compared to CNS samples from AD. By contrast, CA from brain tissue of control subjects were almost devoid of fungal immunoreactivity. These observations are consistent with the concept that CA associate with fungal infections and may contribute to the elucidation of the origin of CA. PMID:27013948

  15. Closing the gap between brain banks and proteomics to advance the study of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Paraizo Leite, Renata Elaine; Tenenholz Grinberg, Lea

    2015-10-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, are among the most debilitating neurological disorders, and as life expectancy rises quickly around the world, the scientific and clinical challenges of dealing with them will also increase dramatically, putting increased pressure on the biomedical community to come up with innovative solutions for the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions. Despite several decades of intensive research, there is still little that can be done to prevent, cure, or even slow down the progression of NDs in most patients. There is an urgent need to develop new lines of basic and applied research that can be quickly translated into clinical application. One way to do this is to apply the tools of proteomics to well-characterized samples of human brain tissue, but a closer partnership must still be forged between proteomic scientists, brain banks, and clinicians to explore the maximum potential of this approach. Here, we analyze the challenges and potential benefits of using human brain tissue for proteomics research toward NDs. PMID:26059592

  16. TNF signaling inhibition in the CNS: implications for normal brain function and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    McCoy, Melissa K; Tansey, Malú G

    2008-01-01

    The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) as an immune mediator has long been appreciated but its function in the brain is still unclear. TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) is expressed in most cell types, and can be activated by binding of either soluble TNF (solTNF) or transmembrane TNF (tmTNF), with a preference for solTNF; whereas TNFR2 is expressed primarily by microglia and endothelial cells and is preferentially activated by tmTNF. Elevation of solTNF is a hallmark of acute and chronic neuroinflammation as well as a number of neurodegenerative conditions including ischemic stroke, Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis (MS). The presence of this potent inflammatory factor at sites of injury implicates it as a mediator of neuronal damage and disease pathogenesis, making TNF an attractive target for therapeutic development to treat acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions. However, new and old observations from animal models and clinical trials reviewed here suggest solTNF and tmTNF exert different functions under normal and pathological conditions in the CNS. A potential role for TNF in synaptic scaling and hippocampal neurogenesis demonstrated by recent studies suggest additional in-depth mechanistic studies are warranted to delineate the distinct functions of the two TNF ligands in different parts of the brain prior to large-scale development of anti-TNF therapies in the CNS. If inactivation of TNF-dependent inflammation in the brain is warranted by additional pre-clinical studies, selective targeting of TNFR1-mediated signaling while sparing TNFR2 activation may lessen adverse effects of anti-TNF therapies in the CNS. PMID:18925972

  17. What's on TV? Detecting age-related neurodegenerative eye disease using eye movement scanpaths

    PubMed Central

    Crabb, David P.; Smith, Nicholas D.; Zhu, Haogang

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: We test the hypothesis that age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be detected by examining patterns of eye movement recorded whilst a person naturally watches a movie. Methods: Thirty-two elderly people with healthy vision (median age: 70, interquartile range [IQR] 64–75 years) and 44 patients with a clinical diagnosis of glaucoma (median age: 69, IQR 63–77 years) had standard vision examinations including automated perimetry. Disease severity was measured using a standard clinical measure (visual field mean deviation; MD). All study participants viewed three unmodified TV and film clips on a computer set up incorporating the Eyelink 1000 eyetracker (SR Research, Ontario, Canada). Eye movement scanpaths were plotted using novel methods that first filtered the data and then generated saccade density maps. Maps were then subjected to a feature extraction analysis using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Features from the KPCA were then classified using a standard machine based classifier trained and tested by a 10-fold cross validation which was repeated 100 times to estimate the confidence interval (CI) of classification sensitivity and specificity. Results: Patients had a range of disease severity from early to advanced (median [IQR] right eye and left eye MD was −7 [−13 to −5] dB and −9 [−15 to −4] dB, respectively). Average sensitivity for correctly identifying a glaucoma patient at a fixed specificity of 90% was 79% (95% CI: 58–86%). The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.84 (95% CI: 0.82–0.87). Conclusions: Huge data from scanpaths of eye movements recorded whilst people freely watch TV type films can be processed into maps that contain a signature of vision loss. In this proof of principle study we have demonstrated that a group of patients with age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be reasonably well separated from a group of healthy peers by considering these eye movement

  18. Oxidative stress, redox signalling and endothelial dysfunction in ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases: a role of NADPH oxidase 2

    PubMed Central

    Cahill-Smith, Sarah; Li, Jian-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Chronic oxidative stress and oxidative damage of the cerebral microvasculature and brain cells has become one of the most convincing theories in neurodegenerative pathology. Controlled oxidative metabolism and redox signalling in the central nervous system are crucial for maintaining brain function; however, excessive production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced redox signalling damage neurons. While several enzymes and metabolic processes can generate intracellular reactive oxygen species in the brain, recently an O2−-generating enzyme, NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2), has emerged as a major source of oxidative stress in ageing-related vascular endothelial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. The currently available inhibitors of Nox2 are not specific, and general antioxidant therapy is not effective in the clinic; therefore, insights into the mechanism of Nox2 activation and its signalling pathways are needed for the discovery of novel drug targets to prevent or treat these neurodegenerative diseases. This review summarizes the recent developments in understanding the mechanisms of Nox2 activation and redox-sensitive signalling pathways and biomarkers involved in the pathophysiology of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, such as ageing-related mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:25279404

  19. Chronic exposure to low benzo[a]pyrene level causes neurodegenerative disease-like syndromes in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Gao, Dongxu; Wu, Meifang; Wang, Chonggang; Wang, Yuanchuan; Zuo, Zhenghong

    2015-10-01

    Previous epidemiological and animal studies report that exposure to environmental pollutant exposure links to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a neurotoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, has been increasingly released into the environment during recent decades. So far, the role of BaP on the development of neurodegenerative diseases remaind unclear. This study aimed to determine whether chronic exposure to low dose BaP would cause neurodegenerative disease-like syndromes in zebrafish (Danio rerio). We exposed zebrafish, from early embryogenesis to adults, to environmentally relevant concentrations of BaP for 230 days. Our results indicated that BaP decreased the brain weight to body weight ratio, locomotor activity and cognitive ability; induced the loss of dopaminergic neurons; and resulted in neurodegeneration. In addition, obvious cell apoptosis in the brain was found. Furthermore, the neurotransmitter levels of dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, the mRNA levels of the genes encoding dopamine transporter, Parkinson protein 7, phosphatase and tensin-induced putative kinase 1, ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1, leucine-rich repeat serine/threonine kinase 2, amyloid precursor protein b, presenilin 1 and presenilin 2 were significantly down-regulated by BaP exposure. These findings suggest that chronic exposure to low dose BaP could cause the behavioral, neuropathological, neurochemical, and genetic features of neurodegenerative diseases. This study provides clues that BaP may constitute an important environmental risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases in humans. PMID:26349946

  20. NeuroX, a fast and efficient genotyping platform for investigation of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Nalls, Mike A; Bras, Jose; Hernandez, Dena G; Keller, Margaux F; Majounie, Elisa; Renton, Alan E; Saad, Mohamad; Jansen, Iris; Guerreiro, Rita; Lubbe, Steven; Plagnol, Vincent; Gibbs, J Raphael; Schulte, Claudia; Pankratz, Nathan; Sutherland, Margaret; Bertram, Lars; Lill, Christina M; DeStefano, Anita L; Faroud, Tatiana; Eriksson, Nicholas; Tung, Joyce Y; Edsall, Connor; Nichols, Noah; Brooks, Janet; Arepalli, Sampath; Pliner, Hannah; Letson, Chris; Heutink, Peter; Martinez, Maria; Gasser, Thomas; Traynor, Bryan J; Wood, Nick; Hardy, John; Singleton, Andrew B

    2015-03-01

    Our objective was to design a genotyping platform that would allow rapid genetic characterization of samples in the context of genetic mutations and risk factors associated with common neurodegenerative diseases. The platform needed to be relatively affordable, rapid to deploy, and use a common and accessible technology. Central to this project, we wanted to make the content of the platform open to any investigator without restriction. In designing this array we prioritized a number of types of genetic variability for inclusion, such as known risk alleles, disease-causing mutations, putative risk alleles, and other functionally important variants. The array was primarily designed to allow rapid screening of samples for disease-causing mutations and large population studies of risk factors. Notably, an explicit aim was to make this array widely available to facilitate data sharing across and within diseases. The resulting array, NeuroX, is a remarkably cost and time effective solution for high-quality genotyping. NeuroX comprises a backbone of standard Illumina exome content of approximately 240,000 variants, and over 24,000 custom content variants focusing on neurologic diseases. Data are generated at approximately $50-$60 per sample using a 12-sample format chip and regular Infinium infrastructure; thus, genotyping is rapid and accessible to many investigators. Here, we describe the design of NeuroX, discuss the utility of NeuroX in the analyses of rare and common risk variants, and present quality control metrics and a brief primer for the analysis of NeuroX derived data. PMID:25444595

  1. Caring for Others: Internet Video-Conferencing Group Intervention for Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Neurodegenerative Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marziali, Elsa; Donahue, Peter

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this pilot feasibility study was to evaluate the effects of an innovative, Internet-based psychosocial intervention for family caregivers of older adults with neurodegenerative disease. Design and Methods: After receiving signed informed consent from each participant, we randomly assigned 66 caregivers to an Internet-based…

  2. Exosomes and other extracellular vesicles in neural cells and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Janas, Anna M; Sapoń, Karolina; Janas, Teresa; Stowell, Michael H B; Janas, Tadeusz

    2016-06-01

    The function of human nervous system is critically dependent on proper interneuronal communication. Exosomes and other extracellular vesicles are emerging as a novel form of information exchange within the nervous system. Intraluminal vesicles within multivesicular bodies (MVBs) can be transported in neural cells anterogradely or retrogradely in order to be released into the extracellular space as exosomes. RNA loading into exosomes can be either via an interaction between RNA and the raft-like region of the MVB limiting membrane, or via an interaction between an RNA-binding protein-RNA complex with this raft-like region. Outflow of exosomes from neural cells and inflow of exosomes into neural cells presumably take place on a continuous basis. Exosomes can play both neuro-protective and neuro-toxic roles. In this review, we characterize the role of exosomes and microvesicles in normal nervous system function, and summarize evidence for defective signaling of these vesicles in disease pathogenesis of some neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26874206

  3. The basal ganglia cholinergic neurochemistry of progressive supranuclear palsy and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Warren, N M; Piggott, M A; Lees, A J; Burn, D J

    2007-01-01

    Background Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving motor and cognitive dysfunction. Currently, there is no effective treatment either for symptomatic relief or disease modification. This relates, in part, to a lack of knowledge of the underlying neurochemical abnormalities, including cholinergic receptor status in the basal ganglia. Aim To measure muscarinic M2 and M4 receptors in the basal ganglia in PSP. Methods The muscarinic M2 (presynaptic) and M4 (postsynaptic) receptors in the striatum, pallidum and adjacent insular cortex were autoradiographically measured in pathologically confirmed cases of PSP (n = 18), and compared with cases of Lewy body dementias (LBDs; n = 45), Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 39) and controls (n = 50). Results In cases of PSP, there was a reduction in M2 and M4 receptors in the posterior caudate and putamen compared to controls, but no significant changes in the pallidum. Cases with AD showed lower M2 receptors in the posterior striatum. Groups with LBD and AD showed higher M2 binding in the insular cortex compared with controls. Conclusions The results suggest loss of posterior striatal cholinergic interneurones in PSP, and reduction in medium spiny projection neurones bearing M4 receptors. These results should be taken in the context of more widespread pathology in PSP, but may have implications for future trials of cholinergic treatments. PMID:17178818

  4. Orally Bioavailable Metal Chelators and Radical Scavengers: Multifunctional Antioxidants for the Coadjutant Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Kawada, Hiroyoshi; Kador, Peter F

    2015-11-25

    Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with oxidative stress that is induced by the presence of reactive oxygen species and the abnormal cellular accumulation of transition metals. Here, a new series of orally bioavailable multifunctional antioxidants (MFAO-2s) possessing a 2-diacetylamino-5-hydroxypyrimidine moiety is described. These MFAO-2s demonstrate both free radical and metal attenuating properties that are similar to the original published MFAO-1s that are based on 1-N,N'-dimethylsulfamoyl-1-4-(2-pyrimidyl)piperazine. Oral bioavailability studies in C57BL/6 mice demonstrate that the MFAO-2s accumulate in the brain at significantly higher levels than the MFAO-1s while achieving similar neural retina levels. The MFAO-2s protect human neuroblastoma and retinal pigmented epithelial cells against hydroxyl radicals in a dose-dependent manner by maintaining cell viability and intracellular glutathione levels. The MFAO-2s outperform clioquinol, a metal attenuator that has been investigated for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26068053

  5. Phytochemicals That Regulate Neurodegenerative Disease by Targeting Neurotrophins: A Comprehensive Review

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesan, Ramu; Ji, Eunhee; Kim, Sun Yeou

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized by progressive dementia and deterioration of cognitive function, is an unsolved social and medical problem. Age, nutrition, and toxins are the most common causes of AD. However, currently no credible treatment is available for AD. Traditional herbs and phytochemicals may delay its onset and slow its progression and also allow recovery by targeting multiple pathological causes by antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic properties. They also regulate mitochondrial stress, apoptotic factors, free radical scavenging system, and neurotrophic factors. Neurotrophins such as BDNF, NGF, NT3, and NT4/5 play a vital role in neuronal and nonneuronal responses to AD. Neurotrophins depletion accelerates the progression of AD and therefore, replacing such neurotrophins may be a potential treatment for neurodegenerative disease. Here, we review the phytochemicals that mediate the signaling pathways involved in neuroprotection specifically neurotrophin-mediated activation of Trk receptors and members of p75NTR superfamily. We focus on representative phenolic derivatives, iridoid glycosides, terpenoids, alkaloids, and steroidal saponins as regulators of neurotrophin-mediated neuroprotection. Although these phytochemicals have attracted attention owing to their in vitro neurotrophin potentiating activity, their in vivo and clinical efficacy trials has yet to be established. Therefore, further research is necessary to prove the neuroprotective effects in preclinical models and in humans. PMID:26075266

  6. Rule violation errors are associated with right lateral prefrontal cortex atrophy in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Possin, Katherine L; Brambati, Simona M; Rosen, Howard J; Johnson, Julene K; Pa, Judy; Weiner, Michael W; Miller, Bruce L; Kramer, Joel H

    2009-05-01

    Good cognitive performance requires adherence to rules specific to the task at hand. Patients with neurological disease often make rule violation (RV) errors, but the anatomical basis for RV during cognitive testing remains debated. The present study examined the neuroanatomical correlates of RV errors made on tests of executive functioning in 166 subjects diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease or as neurologically healthy. Specifically, RV errors were voxel-wisely correlated with gray matter volume derived from high-definition magnetic resonance images using voxel-based morphometry implemented in SPM2. Latent variable analysis showed that RV errors tapped a unitary construct separate from repetition errors. This analysis was used to generate factor scores to represent what is common among RV errors across tests. The extracted RV factor scores correlated with tissue loss in the lateral middle and inferior frontal gyri and the caudate nucleus bilaterally. When a more stringent control for global cognitive functioning was applied using Mini Mental State Exam scores, only the correlations with the right lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) remained significant. These data underscore the importance of right lateral PFC in behavioral monitoring and highlight the potential of RV error assessment for identifying patients with damage to this region. PMID:19402921

  7. DIMETER: A Haptic Master Device for Tremor Diagnosis in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    González, Roberto; Barrientos, Antonio; del Cerro, Jaime; Coca, Benito

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a device based on patient motion capture is developed for the reliable and non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. The primary objective of this study is the classification of differential diagnosis between Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). The DIMETER system has been used in the diagnoses of a significant number of patients at two medical centers in Spain. Research studies on classification have primarily focused on the use of well-known and reliable diagnosis criteria developed by qualified personnel. Here, we first present a literature review of the methods used to detect and evaluate tremor; then, we describe the DIMETER device in terms of the software and hardware used and the battery of tests developed to obtain the best diagnoses. All of the tests are classified and described in terms of the characteristics of the data obtained. A list of parameters obtained from the tests is provided, and the results obtained using multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural networks are presented and analyzed. PMID:24608001

  8. A-kinase anchoring proteins: cAMP compartmentalization in neurodegenerative and obstructive pulmonary diseases

    PubMed Central

    Poppinga, W J; Muñoz-Llancao, P; González-Billault, C; Schmidt, M

    2014-01-01

    The universal second messenger cAMP is generated upon stimulation of Gs protein-coupled receptors, such as the β2-adreneoceptor, and leads to the activation of PKA, the major cAMP effector protein. PKA oscillates between an on and off state and thereby regulates a plethora of distinct biological responses. The broad activation pattern of PKA and its contribution to several distinct cellular functions lead to the introduction of the concept of compartmentalization of cAMP. A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) are of central importance due to their unique ability to directly and/or indirectly interact with proteins that either determine the cellular content of cAMP, such as β2-adrenoceptors, ACs and PDEs, or are regulated by cAMP such as the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP. We report on lessons learned from neurons indicating that maintenance of cAMP compartmentalization by AKAP5 is linked to neurotransmission, learning and memory. Disturbance of cAMP compartments seem to be linked to neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer's disease. We translate this knowledge to compartmentalized cAMP signalling in the lung. Next to AKAP5, we focus here on AKAP12 and Ezrin (AKAP78). These topics will be highlighted in the context of the development of novel pharmacological interventions to tackle AKAP-dependent compartmentalization. PMID:25132049

  9. S-Nitrosylation of Critical Protein Thiols Mediates Protein Misfolding and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Excessive nitrosative and oxidative stress is thought to trigger cellular signaling pathways leading to neurodegenerative conditions. Such redox dysregulation can result from many cellular events, including hyperactivation of the N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate receptor, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cellular aging. Recently, we and our colleagues have shown that excessive generation of free radicals and related molecules, in particular nitric oxide species (NO), can trigger pathological production of misfolded proteins, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics (comprised of mitochondrial fission and fusion events), and apoptotic pathways in neuronal cells. Emerging evidence suggests that excessive NO production can contribute to these pathological processes, specifically by S-nitrosylation of specific target proteins. Here, we highlight examples of S-nitrosylated proteins that regulate misfolded protein accumulation and mitochondrial dynamics. For instance, in models of Parkinson's disease, these S-nitrosylation targets include parkin, a ubiquitin E3 ligase and neuroprotective molecule, and protein-disulfide isomerase, a chaperone enzyme for nascent protein folding. S-Nitrosylation of protein-disulfide isomerase may also be associated with mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Additionally, in models of Alzheimer's disease, excessive NO generation leads to the formation of S-nitrosylated dynamin-related protein 1 (forming SNO-Drp1), which contributes to abnormal mitochondrial fragmentation and resultant synaptic damage. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 1479–1492. PMID:20812868

  10. Apathy in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Recommendations on the Design of Clinical Trials.

    PubMed

    Cummings, Jeffrey; Friedman, Joseph H; Garibaldi, George; Jones, Martin; Macfadden, Wayne; Marsh, Laura; Robert, Philippe H

    2015-09-01

    Apathy is a common feature of neurodegenerative disorders but is difficult to study in a clinical trial setting due to practical and conceptual barriers. Principal challenges include a paucity of data regarding apathy in these disorders, an absence of established diagnostic criteria, the presence of confounding factors (eg, coexisting depression), use of concomitant medications, and an absence of a gold-standard apathy assessment scale. Based on a literature search and ongoing collaboration among the authors, we present recommendations for the design of future clinical trials of apathy, suggesting Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease as models with relevance across a wider array of neuropsychiatric disorders. Recommendations address clarification of the targeted study population (apathy diagnosis and severity at baseline), confounding factors (mood/cognition, behavior, and treatment), outcome measures, study duration, use of comparators and considerations around environment, and the role of the caregiver and patient assent. This review contributes to the search for an optimal approach to study treatment of apathy in neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:25809634

  11. The armadillo: a model for the neuropathy of leprosy and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Rahul; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Scollard, David M; Pena, Maria; Williams, Diana L; Adams, Linda B; Figarola, John; Truman, Richard W

    2013-01-01

    Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) is an infectious peripheral neurological disorder caused by Mycobacterium leprae that even today leaves millions of individuals worldwide with life-long disabilities. The specific mechanisms by which this bacterium induces nerve injury remain largely unknown, mainly owing to ethical and practical limitations in obtaining affected human nerve samples. In addition to humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only other natural host of M. leprae, and they develop a systemically disseminated disease with extensive neurological involvement. M. leprae is an obligate intracellular parasite that cannot be cultivated in vitro. Because of the heavy burdens of bacilli they harbor, nine-banded armadillos have become the organism of choice for propagating large quantities of M. leprae, and they are now advancing as models of leprosy pathogenesis and nerve damage. Although armadillos are exotic laboratory animals, the recently completed whole genome sequence for this animal is enabling researchers to undertake more sophisticated molecular studies and to develop armadillo-specific reagents. These advances will facilitate the use of armadillos in piloting new therapies and diagnostic regimens, and will provide new insights into the oldest known infectious neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:23223615

  12. Recent Advances in Neurogenic Small Molecules as Innovative Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Arozamena, Clara; Martí-Marí, Olaia; Estrada, Martín; de la Fuente Revenga, Mario; Rodríguez-Franco, María Isabel

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system of adult mammals has long been considered as a complex static structure unable to undergo any regenerative process to refurbish its dead nodes. This dogma was challenged by Altman in the 1960s and neuron self-renewal has been demonstrated ever since in many species, including humans. Aging, neurodegenerative, and some mental diseases are associated with an exponential decrease in brain neurogenesis. Therefore, the controlled pharmacological stimulation of the endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) niches might counteract the neuronal loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other pathologies, opening an exciting new therapeutic avenue. In the last years, druggable molecular targets and signalling pathways involved in neurogenic processes have been identified, and as a consequence, different drug types have been developed and tested in neuronal plasticity. This review focuses on recent advances in neurogenic agents acting at serotonin and/or melatonin systems, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, sigma receptors, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and nuclear erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2). PMID:27598108

  13. Anti-Viral Agents in Neurodegenerative Disorders: New Paradigm for Targeting Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Faldu, Khushboo G; Shah, Jigna S; Patel, Snehal S

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting geriatric populations for which several causes have been proposed. These include a relationship with known pathogens although the exact nature of such a relationship remains uncertain. Herpes simplex virus-1 has been proposed as potential cause of AD because of its ability to form ß amyloid(Aß) and neurofibrillary tangles due to tau hyperphosphorylation and action of beta & gamma secretase on amyloid precursor protein(APP) together with genetic association with apolipoprotein-E4(ApoE-Ɛ4), which points out to latent Herpes Simplex virus-1 as an agent causing AD. There are numerous studies that linked HSV-1 with AD like anti-HSV-1 IgM antibodies, nectin-2, heme oxygenase-1, phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor-2A, caspase-8 and nucleus-specific alteration of raphe neurons. Various possible mechanisms by which HSV-1 might lead to development of AD such as ApoE, ß-amyloid, tau phosphorylation, inflammation and oxidative stress are also discussed. Thus, this review discusses patent information and a strong relationship between latent HSV-1 and AD and also proposes antiviral therapy for AD. PMID:25963683

  14. Relevance of the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin in neurodegenerative diseases and depression.

    PubMed

    Tizabi, Yousef; Hurley, Laura L; Qualls, Zakiya; Akinfiresoye, Luli

    2014-01-01

    This review is an attempt to summarize our current understanding of curcumin's potential as a neuroprotectant and an antidepressant. This dual property confers a unique advantage to this herbal medication, believed to be devoid of any major side effects, to combat commonly observed co-morbid conditions of a neurodegenerative and a neuropsychiatric disorder. Moreover, in line with the theme of this series, the role of inflammation and stress in these diseases and possible anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, as well as its interaction with signal transduction proteins as a common denominator in its varied mechanisms of action, are also discussed. Thus, following a brief introduction of curcumin's pharmacology, we present research suggesting how its anti-inflammatory properties have therapeutic potential in treating a devastating neurological disorder (Parkinson's disease = PD) and a debilitating neuropsychiatric disorder (major depressive disorder = MDD). It is concluded that curcumin, or better yet, an analog with better and longer bioavailability could be of important therapeutic potential in PD and/or major depression. PMID:25514226

  15. NeuroGeM, a knowledgebase of genetic modifiers in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are characterized by the progressive loss of neurons in the human brain. Although the majority of NDs are sporadic, evidence is accumulating that they have a strong genetic component. Therefore, significant efforts have been made in recent years to not only identify disease-causing genes but also genes that modify the severity of NDs, so-called genetic modifiers. To date there exists no compendium that lists and cross-links genetic modifiers of different NDs. Description In order to address this need, we present NeuroGeM, the first comprehensive knowledgebase providing integrated information on genetic modifiers of nine different NDs in the model organisms D. melanogaster, C. elegans, and S. cerevisiae. NeuroGeM cross-links curated genetic modifier information from the different NDs and provides details on experimental conditions used for modifier identification, functional annotations, links to homologous proteins and color-coded protein-protein interaction networks to visualize modifier interactions. We demonstrate how this database can be used to generate new understanding through meta-analysis. For instance, we reveal that the Drosophila genes DnaJ-1, thread, Atx2, and mub are generic modifiers that affect multiple if not all NDs. Conclusion As the first compendium of genetic modifiers, NeuroGeM will assist experimental and computational scientists in their search for the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying NDs. http://chibi.ubc.ca/neurogem. PMID:24229347

  16. Imaging the Perivascular Space as a Potential Biomarker of Neurovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Joel; Berezuk, Courtney; McNeely, Alicia A; Gao, Fuqiang; McLaurin, JoAnne; Black, Sandra E

    2016-03-01

    Although the brain lacks conventional lymphatic vessels found in peripheral tissue, evidence suggests that the space surrounding the vasculature serves a similar role in the clearance of fluid and metabolic waste from the brain. With aging, neurodegeneration, and cerebrovascular disease, these microscopic perivascular spaces can become enlarged, allowing for visualization and quantification on structural MRI. The purpose of this review is to: (i) describe some of the recent pre-clinical findings from basic science that shed light on the potential neurophysiological mechanisms driving glymphatic and perivascular waste clearance, (ii) review some of the pathobiological etiologies that may lead to MRI-visible enlarged perivascular spaces (ePVS), (iii) describe the possible clinical implications of ePVS, (iv) evaluate existing qualitative and quantitative techniques used for measuring ePVS burden, and (v) propose future avenues of research that may improve our understanding of this potential clinical neuroimaging biomarker for fluid and metabolic waste clearance dysfunction in neurodegenerative and neurovascular diseases. PMID:26993511

  17. The armadillo: a model for the neuropathy of leprosy and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rahul; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Scollard, David M.; Pena, Maria; Williams, Diana L.; Adams, Linda B.; Figarola, John; Truman, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is an infectious peripheral neurological disorder caused by Mycobacterium leprae that even today leaves millions of individuals worldwide with life-long disabilities. The specific mechanisms by which this bacterium induces nerve injury remain largely unknown, mainly owing to ethical and practical limitations in obtaining affected human nerve samples. In addition to humans, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) are the only other natural host of M. leprae, and they develop a systemically disseminated disease with extensive neurological involvement. M. leprae is an obligate intracellular parasite that cannot be cultivated in vitro. Because of the heavy burdens of bacilli they harbor, nine-banded armadillos have become the organism of choice for propagating large quantities of M. leprae, and they are now advancing as models of leprosy pathogenesis and nerve damage. Although armadillos are exotic laboratory animals, the recently completed whole genome sequence for this animal is enabling researchers to undertake more sophisticated molecular studies and to develop armadillo-specific reagents. These advances will facilitate the use of armadillos in piloting new therapies and diagnostic regimens, and will provide new insights into the oldest known infectious neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:23223615

  18. Neurodegenerative Diseases of the Retina and Potential for Protection and Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, K.-G; Bergert, H; Funk, R.H.W

    2008-01-01

    Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms in the cascade of events resulting in retinal cell death in ocular pathologies like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration led to the common descriptive term of neurodegenerative diseases of the retina. The final common pathophysiologic pathway of these diseases includes a particular form of metabolic stress, resulting in an insufficient supply of nutrients to the respective target structures (optic nerve head, retina). During metabolic stress, glutamate is released initiating the death of neurones containing ionotropic glutamate (N-methyl-D-aspartat, NMDA) receptors present on ganglion cells and a specific type of amacrine cells. Experimental studies demonstrate that several drugs reduce or prevent the death of retinal neurones deficient of nutrients. These agents generally block NMDA receptors to prevent the action of glutamate or halt the subsequent pathophysiologic cycle resulting in cell death. The major causes for cell death following activation of NMDA receptors are the influx of calcium and sodium into cells, the generation of free radicals linked to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and/or advanced lipoxidation endproducts (ALEs) as well as defects in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Substances preventing these cytotoxic events are considered to be potentially neuroprotective. PMID:19305795

  19. Intranasal Delivery of Proteins and Peptides in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Meredith, M Elizabeth; Salameh, Therese S; Banks, William A

    2015-07-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a major impediment to the therapeutic delivery of peptides and proteins to the brain. Intranasal delivery often provides a non-invasive means to bypass the BBB. Advantages of using intranasal delivery include minimizing exposure to peripheral organs and tissues, thus reducing systemic side effects. It also allows substances that typically have rapid degradation in the blood time to exert their effect. Intranasal delivery provides the ability to target proteins and peptides to specific regions of the brain when administered with substrates like cyclodextrins. In this review, we examined the use of intranasal delivery of various proteins and peptides that have implications in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, focusing especially on albumin, exendin/GLP-1, GALP, insulin, leptin, and PACAP. We have described their rationale for use, distribution in the brain after intranasal injection, how intranasal administration differed from other modes of delivery, and their use in clinical trials, if applicable. Intranasal delivery of drugs, peptides, and other proteins could be very useful in the future for the prevention or treatment of brain related diseases. PMID:25801717

  20. Clinical Trials in a Dish: The Potential of Pluripotent Stem Cells to Develop Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Haston, Kelly M; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a leading cause of death. No disease-modifying therapies are available, and preclinical animal model data have routinely failed to translate into success for therapeutics. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biology holds great promise for human in vitro disease modeling because these cells can give rise to any cell in the human brain and display phenotypes specific to neurodegenerative diseases previously identified in postmortem and clinical samples. Here, we explore the potential and caveats of iPSC technology as a platform for drug development and screening, and the future potential to use large cohorts of disease-bearing iPSCs to perform clinical trials in a dish. PMID:26514199

  1. Clinical Trials in a Dish: The Potential of Pluripotent Stem Cells to Develop Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Haston, Kelly M.; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a leading cause of death. No disease-modifying therapies are available, and preclinical animal model data have routinely failed to translate into success for therapeutics. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biology holds great promise for human in vitro disease modeling because these cells can give rise to any cell in the human brain and display phenotypes specific to neurodegenerative diseases previously identified in postmortem and clinical samples. Here, we explore the potential and caveats of iPSC technology as a platform for drug development and screening, and the future potential to use large cohorts of disease-bearing iPSCs to perform clinical trials in a dish. PMID:26514199

  2. Nrf2 activation in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases: a focus on its role in mitochondrial bioenergetics and function.

    PubMed

    Esteras, Noemí; Dinkova-Kostova, Albena T; Abramov, Andrey Y

    2016-05-01

    The nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2 (NF-E2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor well-known for its function in controlling the basal and inducible expression of a variety of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes. As part of its cytoprotective activity, increasing evidence supports its role in metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetics and function. Neurodegenerative diseases are excellent candidates for Nrf2-targeted treatments. Most neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia and Friedreich's ataxia are characterized by oxidative stress, misfolded protein aggregates, and chronic inflammation, the common targets of Nrf2 therapeutic strategies. Together with them, mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in the pathogenesis of most neurodegenerative disorders. The recently recognized ability of Nrf2 to regulate intermediary metabolism and mitochondrial function makes Nrf2 activation an attractive and comprehensive strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. This review aims to focus on the potential therapeutic role of Nrf2 activation in neurodegeneration, with special emphasis on mitochondrial bioenergetics and function, metabolism and the role of transporters, all of which collectively contribute to the cytoprotective activity of this transcription factor. PMID:26812787

  3. Is Modulation of Oxidative Stress an Answer? The State of the Art of Redox Therapeutic Actions in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chiurchiù, Valerio

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system is particularly sensitive to oxidative stress due to many reasons, including its high oxygen consumption even under basal conditions, high production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species from specific neurochemical reactions, and the increased deposition of metal ions in the brain with aging. For this reason, along with inflammation, oxidative stress seems to be one of the main inducers of neurodegeneration, causing excitotoxicity, neuronal loss, and axonal damage, ultimately being now considered a key element in the onset and progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and hereditary spastic paraplegia. Thus, the present paper reviews the role of oxidative stress and of its mechanistic insights underlying the pathogenesis of these neurodegenerative diseases, with particular focus on current studies on its modulation as a potential and promising therapeutic strategy. PMID:26881039

  4. Transcranial near-infrared laser therapy applied to promote clinical recovery in acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lapchak, Paul A

    2012-01-01

    One of the most promising methods to treat neurodegeneration is noninvasive transcranial near-infrared laser therapy (NILT), which appears to promote acute neuroprotection by stimulating mitochondrial function, thereby increasing cellular energy production. NILT may also promote chronic neuronal function restoration via trophic factor-mediated plasticity changes or possibly neurogenesis. Clearly, NILT is a treatment that confers neuroprotection or neurorestoration using pleiotropic mechanisms. The most advanced application of NILT is for acute ischemic stroke based upon extensive preclinical and clinical studies. In laboratory settings, NILT is also being developed to treat traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. There is some intriguing data in the literature that suggests that NILT may be a method to promote clinical improvement in neurodegenerative diseases where there is a common mechanistic component, mitochondrial dysfunction and energy impairment. This article will analyze and review data supporting the continued development of NILT to treat neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22145842

  5. Nano-Drugs Based on Nano Sterically Stabilized Liposomes for the Treatment of Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Turjeman, Keren; Bavli, Yaelle; Kizelsztein, Pablo; Schilt, Yaelle; Allon, Nahum; Katzir, Tamar Blumenfeld; Sasson, Efrat; Raviv, Uri; Ovadia, Haim; Barenholz, Yechezkel

    2015-01-01

    The present study shows the advantages of liposome-based nano-drugs as a novel strategy of delivering active pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases that involve neuroinflammation. We used the most common animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS), mice experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The main challenges to overcome are the drugs’ unfavorable pharmacokinetics and biodistribution, which result in inadequate therapeutic efficacy and in drug toxicity (due to high and repeated dosage). We designed two different liposomal nano-drugs, i.e., nano sterically stabilized liposomes (NSSL), remote loaded with: (a) a “water-soluble” amphipathic weak acid glucocorticosteroid prodrug, methylprednisolone hemisuccinate (MPS) or (b) the amphipathic weak base nitroxide, Tempamine (TMN). For the NSSL-MPS we also compared the effect of passive targeting alone and of active targeting based on short peptide fragments of ApoE or of β-amyloid. Our results clearly show that for NSSL-MPS, active targeting is not superior to passive targeting. For the NSSL-MPS and the NSSL-TMN it was demonstrated that these nano-drugs ameliorate the clinical signs and the pathology of EAE. We have further investigated the MPS nano-drug’s therapeutic efficacy and its mechanism of action in both the acute and the adoptive transfer EAE models, as well as optimizing the perfomance of the TMN nano-drug. The highly efficacious anti-inflammatory therapeutic feature of these two nano-drugs meets the criteria of disease-modifying drugs and supports further development and evaluation of these nano-drugs as potential therapeutic agents for diseases with an inflammatory component. PMID:26147975

  6. Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Review of Upstream and Downstream Antioxidant Therapeutic Options

    PubMed Central

    Uttara, Bayani; Singh, Ajay V.; Zamboni, Paolo; Mahajan, R.T

    2009-01-01

    Free radicals are common outcome of normal aerobic cellular metabolism. In-built antioxidant system of body plays its decisive role in prevention of any loss due to free radicals. However, imbalanced defense mechanism of antioxidants, overproduction or incorporation of free radicals from environment to living system leads to serious penalty leading to neuro-degeneration. Neural cells suffer functional or sensory loss in neurodegenerative diseases. Apart from several other environmental or genetic factors, oxidative stress (OS) leading to free radical attack on neural cells contributes calamitous role to neuro-degeneration. Though, oxygen is imperative for life, imbalanced metabolism and excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation end into a range of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, aging and many other neural disorders. Toxicity of free radicals contributes to proteins and DNA injury, inflammation, tissue damage and subsequent cellular apoptosis. Antioxidants are now being looked upon as persuasive therapeutic against solemn neuronal loss, as they have capability to combat by neutralizing free radicals. Diet is major source of antioxidants, as well as medicinal herbs are catching attention to be commercial source of antioxidants at present. Recognition of upstream and downstream antioxidant therapy to oxidative stress has been proved an effective tool in alteration of any neuronal damage as well as free radical scavenging. Antioxidants have a wide scope to sequester metal ions involved in neuronal plaque formation to prevent oxidative stress. In addition, antioxidant therapy is vital in scavenging free radicals and ROS preventing neuronal degeneration in post-oxidative stress scenario. PMID:19721819

  7. Cystamine metabolism and brain transport properties: clinical implications for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Bousquet, Mélanie; Gibrat, Claire; Ouellet, Mélissa; Rouillard, Claude; Calon, Frédéric; Cicchetti, Francesca

    2010-09-01

    Cystamine has shown significant neuroprotective properties in preclinical studies of Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Cysteamine, its FDA-approved reduced form, is scheduled to be tested for clinical efficacy in HD patients. Here, we studied the key cystamine metabolites, namely cysteamine, hypotaurine and taurine, as well as cysteine, in order to identify which one is more distinctively responsible for the neuroprotective action of cystamine. After a single administration of cystamine (10, 50 or 200 mg/kg), naïve mice were perfused with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 1, 3, 12, 24 or 48 h post-injection and brain and plasma samples were analyzed by two distinct HPLC methods. Although plasma levels remained under the detection threshold, significant increases in cysteamine brain levels were detected with the 50 and 200 mg/kg doses in mice perfused 1 and 3 h following cystamine injection. To further assess cysteamine as the candidate molecule for pre-clinical and clinical trials in PD, we evaluated its capacity to cross the blood brain barrier. Using an in situ cerebral perfusion technique, we determined that the brain transport coefficient (Clup) of cysteamine (259 μM) was 0.15 ± 0.02 μL/g/s and was increased up to 0.34 ± 0.07 μL/g/s when co-perfused in the presence of cysteine. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that cysteamine is the neuroactive metabolite of cystamine and may further support its therapeutic use in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in HD and PD. PMID:20569301

  8. Nano-Drugs Based on Nano Sterically Stabilized Liposomes for the Treatment of Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Turjeman, Keren; Bavli, Yaelle; Kizelsztein, Pablo; Schilt, Yaelle; Allon, Nahum; Katzir, Tamar Blumenfeld; Sasson, Efrat; Raviv, Uri; Ovadia, Haim; Barenholz, Yechezkel

    2015-01-01

    The present study shows the advantages of liposome-based nano-drugs as a novel strategy of delivering active pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases that involve neuroinflammation. We used the most common animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS), mice experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The main challenges to overcome are the drugs' unfavorable pharmacokinetics and biodistribution, which result in inadequate therapeutic efficacy and in drug toxicity (due to high and repeated dosage). We designed two different liposomal nano-drugs, i.e., nano sterically stabilized liposomes (NSSL), remote loaded with: (a) a "water-soluble" amphipathic weak acid glucocorticosteroid prodrug, methylprednisolone hemisuccinate (MPS) or (b) the amphipathic weak base nitroxide, Tempamine (TMN). For the NSSL-MPS we also compared the effect of passive targeting alone and of active targeting based on short peptide fragments of ApoE or of β-amyloid. Our results clearly show that for NSSL-MPS, active targeting is not superior to passive targeting. For the NSSL-MPS and the NSSL-TMN it was demonstrated that these nano-drugs ameliorate the clinical signs and the pathology of EAE. We have further investigated the MPS nano-drug's therapeutic efficacy and its mechanism of action in both the acute and the adoptive transfer EAE models, as well as optimizing the perfomance of the TMN nano-drug. The highly efficacious anti-inflammatory therapeutic feature of these two nano-drugs meets the criteria of disease-modifying drugs and supports further development and evaluation of these nano-drugs as potential therapeutic agents for diseases with an inflammatory component. PMID:26147975

  9. Specific transfection of inflamed brain by macrophages: a new therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Haney, Matthew J; Zhao, Yuling; Harrison, Emily B; Mahajan, Vivek; Ahmed, Shaheen; He, Zhijian; Suresh, Poornima; Hingtgen, Shawn D; Klyachko, Natalia L; Mosley, R Lee; Gendelman, Howard E; Kabanov, Alexander V; Batrakova, Elena V

    2013-01-01

    The ability to precisely upregulate genes in inflamed brain holds great therapeutic promise. Here we report a novel class of vectors, genetically modified macrophages that carry reporter and therapeutic genes to neural cells. Systemic administration of macrophages transfected ex vivo with a plasmid DNA (pDNA) encoding a potent antioxidant enzyme, catalase, produced month-long expression levels of catalase in the brain resulting in three-fold reductions in inflammation and complete neuroprotection in mouse models of Parkinson's disease (PD). This resulted in significant improvements in motor functions in PD mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that transfected macrophages secreted extracellular vesicles, exosomes, packed with catalase genetic material, pDNA and mRNA, active catalase, and NF-κb, a transcription factor involved in the encoded gene expression. Exosomes efficiently transfer their contents to contiguous neurons resulting in de novo protein synthesis in target cells. Thus, genetically modified macrophages serve as a highly efficient system for reproduction, packaging, and targeted gene and drug delivery to treat inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23620794

  10. Nanoparticle-mediated brain drug delivery: Overcoming blood-brain barrier to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Saraiva, Cláudia; Praça, Catarina; Ferreira, Raquel; Santos, Tiago; Ferreira, Lino; Bernardino, Liliana

    2016-08-10

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a vital boundary between neural tissue and circulating blood. The BBB's unique and protective features control brain homeostasis as well as ion and molecule movement. Failure in maintaining any of these components results in the breakdown of this specialized multicellular structure and consequently promotes neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. In several high incidence pathologies such as stroke, Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) the BBB is impaired. However, even a damaged and more permeable BBB can pose serious challenges to drug delivery into the brain. The use of nanoparticle (NP) formulations able to encapsulate molecules with therapeutic value, while targeting specific transport processes in the brain vasculature, may enhance drug transport through the BBB in neurodegenerative/ischemic disorders and target relevant regions in the brain for regenerative processes. In this review, we will discuss BBB composition and characteristics and how these features are altered in pathology, namely in stroke, AD and PD. Additionally, factors influencing an efficient intravenous delivery of polymeric and inorganic NPs into the brain as well as NP-related delivery systems with the most promising functional outcomes will also be discussed. PMID:27208862

  11. NF-κB in Innate Neuroprotection and Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lanzillotta, Annamaria; Porrini, Vanessa; Bellucci, Arianna; Benarese, Marina; Branca, Caterina; Parrella, Edoardo; Spano, Pier Franco; Pizzi, Marina

    2015-01-01

    NF-κB factors are cardinal transcriptional regulators of inflammation and apoptosis, involved in the brain programing of systemic aging and in brain damage. The composition of NF-κB active dimers and epigenetic mechanisms modulating histone acetylation, finely condition neuronal resilience to brain insults. In stroke models, the activation of NF-κB/c-Rel promotes neuroprotective effects by transcription of specific anti-apoptotic genes. Conversely, aberrant activation of NF-κB/RelA showing reduced level of total acetylation, but site-specific acetylation on lysine 310, triggers the expression of pro-apoptotic genes. Constitutive knockout of c-Rel shatters the resilience of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic (DA) neurons to aging and induces a parkinsonian like pathology in mice. c-rel−/− mice show increased level of aberrantly acetylated RelA in the basal ganglia, neuroinflammation, accumulation of alpha-synuclein, and iron. Moreover, they develop motor deficits responsive to l-DOPA treatment and associated with loss of DA neurons in the SN. Here, we discuss the effect of unbalanced activation of RelA and c-Rel during aging and propose novel challenges for the development of therapeutic strategies in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26042083

  12. Erythropoietin as a new therapeutic opportunity in brain inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Merelli, A; Czornyj, L; Lazarowski, A

    2015-01-01

    Highly expressed Erythropoietin Receptor (EPO-R) has been detected in several nonhematopoietic hypoxic cells, including cells from different brain areas in response to many different types of cell injury. In brain, hypoxia-ischemia (HI) can induce a wide spectrum of biologic responses, where inflammation and apoptosis are the main protagonists. Inflammation, as a primary brain insult, can induce a chronic hypoxic condition, producing the continuous cycle of inflammation-hypoxia that increases the apoptotic-cell number. It has also been demonstrated that administration of erythropoietin (EPO) prevented the neuronal death induced by HI, as well as the induction of lipid peroxidation in the hippocampus in a rodent model of Alzheimer's disease. Anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and/or cell-proliferative effects of EPO, have been observed in all type of cells expressing EPO-R, resulting in a potential tool for neuroprotection, neuroreparation, or neurogenesis of brain damaged areas. The nasal route is an alternative way of drugs administration that has been successfully exploited for bypassing the blood brain barrier, and subsequently delivering EPO and other molecules to central nervous system. Intranasal administration of EPO could be a new therapeutic opportunity in several brain damages that includes hypoxia, inflammation, neurodegenerative process, and apoptosis. PMID:25405533

  13. HDAC4 as a potential therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases: a summary of recent achievements

    PubMed Central

    Mielcarek, Michal; Zielonka, Daniel; Carnemolla, Alisia; Marcinkowski, Jerzy T.; Guidez, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    For the past decade protein acetylation has been shown to be a crucial post-transcriptional modification involved in the regulation of protein functions. Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) mediate acetylation of histones which results in the nucleosomal relaxation associated with gene expression. The reverse reaction, histone deacetylation, is mediated by histone deacetylases (HDACs) leading to chromatin condensation followed by transcriptional repression. HDACs are divided into distinct classes: I, IIa, IIb, III, and IV, on the basis of size and sequence homology, as well as formation of distinct repressor complexes. Implications of HDACs in many diseases, such as cancer, heart failure, and neurodegeneration, have identified these molecules as unique and attractive therapeutic targets. The emergence of HDAC4 among the members of class IIa family as a major player in synaptic plasticity raises important questions about its functions in the brain. The characterization of HDAC4 specific substrates and molecular partners in the brain will not only provide a better understanding of HDAC4 biological functions but also might help to develop new therapeutic strategies to target numerous malignancies. In this review we highlight and summarize recent achievements in understanding the biological role of HDAC4 in neurodegenerative processes. PMID:25759639

  14. Regulation of Brain Iron and Copper Homeostasis by Brain Barrier Systems: Implication in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Wei; Monnot, Andrew D.

    2011-01-01

    Iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) are essential to neuronal function; excess or deficiency of either is known to underlie the pathoetiology of several commonly known neurodegenerative disorders. This delicate balance of Fe and Cu in the central milieu is maintained by the brain barrier systems, i.e., the blood-brain barrier (BBB) between the blood and brain interstitial fluid and the blood- cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCB) between the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This review provides a concise description on the structural and functional characteristics of the brain barrier systems. Current understanding of Fe and Cu transport across the brain barriers is thoroughly examined, with major focuses on whether the BBB and BCB coordinate the direction of Fe and Cu fluxes between the blood and brain/CSF. In particular, the mechanism by which pertinent metal transporters in the barriers, such as the transferrin receptor (TfR), divalent metal transporter (DMT1), copper transporter (CTR1), ATP7A/B, and ferroportin (FPN), regulate metal movement across the barriers is explored. Finally, the detrimental consequences of dysfunctional metal transport by brain barriers, as a result of endogenous disorders or exogenous insults, are discussed. Understanding the regulation of Fe and Cu homeostasis in the central nervous system aids in the design of new drugs targeted on the regulatory proteins at the brain barriers for the treatment of metal’s deficiency or overload-related neurological diseases. PMID:22115751

  15. Brain Slices as Models for Neurodegenerative Disease and Screening Platforms to Identify Novel Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Seongeun; Wood, Andrew; Bowlby, Mark R

    2007-01-01

    Recent improvements in brain slice technology have made this biological preparation increasingly useful for examining pathophysiology of brain diseases in a tissue context. Brain slices maintain many aspects of in vivo biology, including functional local synaptic circuitry with preserved brain architecture, while allowing good experimental access and precise control of the extracellular environment, making them ideal platforms for dissection of molecular pathways underlying neuronal dysfunction. Importantly, these ex vivo systems permit direct treatment with pharmacological agents modulating these responses and thus provide surrogate therapeutic screening systems without recourse to whole animal studies. Virus or particle mediated transgenic expression can also be accomplished relatively easily to study the function of novel genes in a normal or injured brain tissue context. In this review we will discuss acute brain injury models in organotypic hippocampal and co-culture systems and the effects of pharmacological modulation on neurodegeneration. The review will also cover the evidence of developmental plasticity in these ex vivo models, demonstrating emergence of injury-stimulated neuronal progenitor cells, and neurite sprouting and axonal regeneration following pathway lesioning. Neuro-and axo-genesis are emerging as significant factors contributing to brain repair following many acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore brain slice models may provide a critical contextual experimental system to explore regenerative mechanisms in vitro. PMID:18615151

  16. The neuroprotective effect of Activin A and B: implication for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kupershmidt, Lana; Amit, Tamar; Bar-Am, Orit; Youdim, Moussa B H; Blumenfeld, Zeev

    2007-11-01

    Activin is a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily which comprises a growing list of multifunctional proteins that function as modulators of cell proliferation, differentiation, hormone secretion and neuronal survival. This study examined the neuroprotective effect of both Activin A and B in serum withdrawal and oxidative stress apoptotic cellular models and investigated the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins, which may account for the mechanism of Activin-induced neuroprotection. Here, we report that recombinant Activin A and B are neuroprotective against serum deprivation- and toxin- [either the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or the peroxynitrite donor, 3-(4-morpholinyl) sydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1)] induced neuronal death in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that transient transfection with Activin betaA or betaB significantly protect SH-SY5Y and rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells against serum withdrawal-induced apoptosis. This survival effect is mediated by the Bcl-2 family members and involves inhibition of caspase-3 activation; reduction of cleaved poly-ADP ribose polymerase and phosphorylated H2A.X protein levels and elevation of tyrosine hydroxylase expression. These results indicate that both Activin-A and -B share the potential to induce neuroprotective activity and thus may have positive impact on aging and neurodegenerative diseases to retard the accelerated rate of neuronal degeneration. PMID:17680997

  17. Specific Transfection of Inflamed Brain by Macrophages: A New Therapeutic Strategy for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Haney, Matthew J.; Zhao, Yuling; Harrison, Emily B.; Mahajan, Vivek; Ahmed, Shaheen; He, Zhijian; Suresh, Poornima; Hingtgen, Shawn D.; Klyachko, Natalia L.; Mosley, R. Lee; Gendelman, Howard E.; Kabanov, Alexander V.; Batrakova, Elena V.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to precisely upregulate genes in inflamed brain holds great therapeutic promise. Here we report a novel class of vectors, genetically modified macrophages that carry reporter and therapeutic genes to neural cells. Systemic administration of macrophages transfected ex vivo with a plasmid DNA (pDNA) encoding a potent antioxidant enzyme, catalase, produced month-long expression levels of catalase in the brain resulting in three-fold reductions in inflammation and complete neuroprotection in mouse models of Parkinson's disease (PD). This resulted in significant improvements in motor functions in PD mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that transfected macrophages secreted extracellular vesicles, exosomes, packed with catalase genetic material, pDNA and mRNA, active catalase, and NF-κb, a transcription factor involved in the encoded gene expression. Exosomes efficiently transfer their contents to contiguous neurons resulting in de novo protein synthesis in target cells. Thus, genetically modified macrophages serve as a highly efficient system for reproduction, packaging, and targeted gene and drug delivery to treat inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23620794

  18. Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging in the analysis of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Müller, Hans-Peter; Kassubek, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques provide information on the microstructural processes of the cerebral white matter (WM) in vivo. The present applications are designed to investigate differences of WM involvement patterns in different brain diseases, especially neurodegenerative disorders, by use of different DTI analyses in comparison with matched controls. DTI data analysis is performed in a variate fashion, i.e. voxelwise comparison of regional diffusion direction-based metrics such as fractional anisotropy (FA), together with fiber tracking (FT) accompanied by tractwise fractional anisotropy statistics (TFAS) at the group level in order to identify differences in FA along WM structures, aiming at the definition of regional patterns of WM alterations at the group level. Transformation into a stereotaxic standard space is a prerequisite for group studies and requires thorough data processing to preserve directional inter-dependencies. The present applications show optimized technical approaches for this preservation of quantitative and directional information during spatial normalization in data analyses at the group level. On this basis, FT techniques can be applied to group averaged data in order to quantify metrics information as defined by FT. Additionally, application of DTI methods, i.e. differences in FA-maps after stereotaxic alignment, in a longitudinal analysis at an individual subject basis reveal information about the progression of neurological disorders. Further quality improvement of DTI based results can be obtained during preprocessing by application of a controlled elimination of gradient directions with high noise levels. In summary, DTI is used to define a distinct WM pathoanatomy of different brain diseases by the combination of whole brain-based and tract-based DTI analysis. PMID:23928996

  19. Neural basis of motivational approach and withdrawal behaviors in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Shinagawa, Shunichiro; Babu, Adhimoolam; Sturm, Virginia; Shany-Ur, Tal; Toofanian Ross, Parnian; Zackey, Diana; Poorzand, Pardis; Grossman, Scott; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and the Behavioral Activation System (BAS) have been theorized as neural systems that regulate approach/withdrawal behaviors. Behavioral activation/inhibition balance may change in neurodegenerative disease based on underlying alterations in systems supporting motivation and approach/withdrawal behaviors, which may in turn be reflected in neuropsychiatric symptoms. Method A total of 187 participants (31 patients diagnosed with behavioral variant of FTD [bvFTD], 13 semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia [svPPA], 14 right temporal variant FTD [rtFTD], 54 Alzheimer’s disease [AD], and 75 older healthy controls [NCs]) were included in this study. Changes in behavioral inhibition/activation were measured using the BIS/BAS scale. We analyzed the correlation between regional atrophy pattern and BIS/BAS score, using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Results ADs had significantly higher BIS scores than bvFTDs and NCs. bvFTDs activation-reward response (BAS-RR) was significantly lower than ADs and NCs, though their activation-drive (BAS-D) was significantly higher than in ADs. Both AD and rtFTD patients had abnormally low activation fun-seeking (BAS-FS) scores. BIS score correlated positively with right anterior cingulate and middle frontal gyrus volume, as well as volume in the right precentral gyrus and left insula/operculum. Conclusions AD, bvFTD, and rtFTD patients show divergent patterns of change in approach/withdrawal reactivity. High BIS scores correlated with preservation of right-predominant structures involved in task control and self-protective avoidance of potentially negative reinforcers. Damage to these regions in bvFTD may create a punishment insensitivity that underlies patients’ lack of self-consciousness in social contexts. PMID:26442751

  20. The Influence of Na+, K+-ATPase on Glutamate Signaling in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, Paula F.; Leite, Jacqueline A.; Orellana, Ana Maria M.; Vasconcelos, Andrea R.; Quintas, Luis E. M.; Kawamoto, Elisa M.; Scavone, Cristoforo

    2016-01-01

    Decreased Na+, K+-ATPase (NKA) activity causes energy deficiency, which is commonly observed in neurodegenerative diseases. The NKA is constituted of three subunits: α, β, and γ, with four distinct isoforms of the catalytic α subunit (α1−4). Genetic mutations in the ATP1A2 gene and ATP1A3 gene, encoding the α2 and α3 subunit isoforms, respectively can cause distinct neurological disorders, concurrent to impaired NKA activity. Within the central nervous system (CNS), the α2 isoform is expressed mostly in glial cells and the α3 isoform is neuron-specific. Mutations in ATP1A2 gene can result in familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM2), while mutations in the ATP1A3 gene can cause Rapid-onset dystonia-Parkinsonism (RDP) and alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), as well as the cerebellar ataxia, areflexia, pescavus, optic atrophy and sensorineural hearing loss (CAPOS) syndrome. Data indicates that the central glutamatergic system is affected by mutations in the α2 isoform, however further investigations are required to establish a connection to mutations in the α3 isoform, especially given the diagnostic confusion and overlap with glutamate transporter disease. The age-related decline in brain α2∕3 activity may arise from changes in the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) pathway. Glutamate, through nitric oxide synthase (NOS), cGMP and PKG, stimulates brain α2∕3 activity, with the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor cascade able to drive an adaptive, neuroprotective response to inflammatory and challenging stimuli, including amyloid-β. Here we review the NKA, both as an ion pump as well as a receptor that interacts with NMDA, including the role of NKA subunits mutations. Failure of the NKA-associated adaptive response mechanisms may render neurons more susceptible to degeneration over the course of aging. PMID:27313535

  1. Conophylline protects cells in cellular models of neurodegenerative diseases by inducing mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-independent autophagy.

    PubMed

    Sasazawa, Yukiko; Sato, Natsumi; Umezawa, Kazuo; Simizu, Siro

    2015-03-01

    Macroautophagy is a cellular response that leads to the bulk, nonspecific degradation of cytosolic components, including organelles. In recent years, it has been recognized that autophagy is essential for prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson disease (PD) and Huntington disease (HD). Here, we show that conophylline (CNP), a vinca alkaloid, induces autophagy in an mammalian target of rapamycin-independent manner. Using a cellular model of PD, CNP suppressed protein aggregation and protected cells from cell death caused by treatment with 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, a neurotoxin, by inducing autophagy. Moreover, in the HD model, CNP also eliminated mutant huntingtin aggregates. Our findings demonstrate the possible use of CNP as a therapeutic drug for neurodegenerative disorders, including PD and HD. PMID:25596530

  2. Conophylline Protects Cells in Cellular Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases by Inducing Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)-independent Autophagy*

    PubMed Central

    Sasazawa, Yukiko; Sato, Natsumi; Umezawa, Kazuo; Simizu, Siro

    2015-01-01

    Macroautophagy is a cellular response that leads to the bulk, nonspecific degradation of cytosolic components, including organelles. In recent years, it has been recognized that autophagy is essential for prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson disease (PD) and Huntington disease (HD). Here, we show that conophylline (CNP), a vinca alkaloid, induces autophagy in an mammalian target of rapamycin-independent manner. Using a cellular model of PD, CNP suppressed protein aggregation and protected cells from cell death caused by treatment with 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, a neurotoxin, by inducing autophagy. Moreover, in the HD model, CNP also eliminated mutant huntingtin aggregates. Our findings demonstrate the possible use of CNP as a therapeutic drug for neurodegenerative disorders, including PD and HD. PMID:25596530

  3. Mutations in the transketolase-like gene TKTL1: clinical implications for neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer.

    PubMed

    Coy, Johannes F; Dressler, Dirk; Wilde, Juergen; Schubert, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Transketolase proteins or transketolase enzyme activities have been related to neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Transketolase enzyme variants and reduced transketolase enzyme activities are present in patients with the neurodegenerative disease Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. In Alzheimer's disease patients transketolase protein variants with different isoelectric points or a proteolytic cleavage leading to small transketolase protein isoforms have been identified. In diabetes mellitus patients reduced transketolase enzyme activities have been detected and the lipid-soluble thiamine derivative benfotiamine activates transketolase enzyme reactions, thereby blocking three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and preventing diabetic retinopathy. In cancer inhibition of transketolase enzyme reactions suppresses tumor growth and metastasis. All the observed phenomena have been interpreted solely on the basis of a single transketolase gene (TKT) encoding a single transketolase enzyme. No mutations have been identified so far in TKT transketolase explaining the altered transketolase proteins or transketolase enzyme activities found in neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer. We demonstrate the presence of a second transketolase enzyme (TKTL1) in humans. During the evolution of the vertebrate genome, mutations in this transketolase gene (TKTL1) have led to tissue-specific transcripts different in size, which encode an enzymatically active transketolase protein as well as different smaller protein isoforms. The mutations within the TKTL1 gene caused a mutant transketolase enzyme with an altered substrate specificity and reaction modus. Here we characterize the TKTL1 gene and its encoded TKTL1 protein(s) and discuss the medical and clinical implications of this mutated transketolase. We furthermore postulate a novel metabolic concept for the understanding, prevention and therapy of neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer. PMID:15991799

  4. Excess body weight increases the burden of age-associated chronic diseases and their associated health care expenditures.

    PubMed

    Atella, Vincenzo; Kopinska, Joanna; Medea, Gerardo; Belotti, Federico; Tosti, Valeria; Mortari, Andrea Piano; Cricelli, Claudio; Fontana, Luigi

    2015-10-01

    Aging and excessive adiposity are both associated with an increased risk of developing multiple chronic diseases, which drive ever increasing health costs. The main aim of this study was to determine the net (non-estimated) health costs of excessive adiposity and associated age-related chronic diseases. We used a prevalence-based approach that combines accurate data from the Health Search CSD-LPD, an observational dataset with patient records collected by Italian general practitioners and up-to-date health care expenditures data from the SiSSI Project. In this very large study, 557,145 men and women older than 18 years were observed at different points in time between 2004 and 2010. The proportion of younger and older adults reporting no chronic disease decreased with increasing BMI. After adjustment for age, sex, geographic residence, and GPs heterogeneity, a strong J-shaped association was found between BMI and total health care costs, more pronounced in middle-aged and older adults. Relative to normal weight, in the 45-64 age group, the per-capita total cost was 10% higher in overweight individuals, and 27 to 68% greater in patients with obesity and very severe obesity, respectively. The association between BMI and diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease largely explained these elevated costs. PMID:26540605

  5. Excess body weight increases the burden of age-associated chronic diseases and their associated health care expenditures

    PubMed Central

    Atella, Vincenzo; Kopinska, Joanna; Medea, Gerardo; Belotti, Federico; Tosti, Valeria; Mortari, Andrea Piano; Cricelli, Claudio; Fontana, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Aging and excessive adiposity are both associated with an increased risk of developing multiple chronic diseases, which drive ever increasing health costs. The main aim of this study was to determine the net (non‐estimated) health costs of excessive adiposity and associated age‐related chronic diseases. We used a prevalence‐based approach that combines accurate data from the Health Search CSD‐LPD, an observational dataset with patient records collected by Italian general practitioners and up‐to‐date health care expenditures data from the SiSSI Project. In this very large study, 557,145 men and women older than 18 years were observed at different points in time between 2004 and 2010. The proportion of younger and older adults reporting no chronic disease decreased with increasing BMI. After adjustment for age, sex, geographic residence, and GPs heterogeneity, a strong J‐shaped association was found between BMI and total health care costs, more pronounced in middle‐aged and older adults. Relative to normal weight, in the 45‐64 age group, the per‐capita total cost was 10% higher in overweight individuals, and 27 to 68% greater in patients with obesity and very severe obesity, respectively. The association between BMI and diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease largely explained these elevated costs. PMID:26540605

  6. Current concept in neural regeneration research: NSCs isolation, characterization and transplantation in various neurodegenerative diseases and stroke: A review.

    PubMed

    Vishwakarma, Sandeep K; Bardia, Avinash; Tiwari, Santosh K; Paspala, Syed A B; Khan, Aleem A

    2014-05-01

    Since last few years, an impressive amount of data has been generated regarding the basic in vitro and in vivo biology of neural stem cells (NSCs) and there is much far hope for the success in cell replacement therapies for several human neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The discovery of adult neurogenesis (the endogenous production of new neurons) in the mammalian brain more than 40 years ago has resulted in a wealth of knowledge about stem cells biology in neuroscience research. Various studies have done in search of a suitable source for NSCs which could be used in animal models to understand the basic and transplantation biology before treating to human. The difficulties in isolating pure population of NSCs limit the study of neural stem behavior and factors that regulate them. Several studies on human fetal brain and spinal cord derived NSCs in animal models have shown some interesting results for cell replacement therapies in many neurodegenerative diseases and stroke models. Also the methods and conditions used for in vitro culture of these cells provide an important base for their applicability and specificity in a definite target of the disease. Various important developments and modifications have been made in stem cells research which is needed to be more specified and enrolment in clinical studies using advanced approaches. This review explains about the current perspectives and suitable sources for NSCs isolation, characterization, in vitro proliferation and their use in cell replacement therapies for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases and strokes. PMID:25685495

  7. Current concept in neural regeneration research: NSCs isolation, characterization and transplantation in various neurodegenerative diseases and stroke: A review

    PubMed Central

    Vishwakarma, Sandeep K.; Bardia, Avinash; Tiwari, Santosh K.; Paspala, Syed A.B.; Khan, Aleem A.

    2013-01-01

    Since last few years, an impressive amount of data has been generated regarding the basic in vitro and in vivo biology of neural stem cells (NSCs) and there is much far hope for the success in cell replacement therapies for several human neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The discovery of adult neurogenesis (the endogenous production of new neurons) in the mammalian brain more than 40 years ago has resulted in a wealth of knowledge about stem cells biology in neuroscience research. Various studies have done in search of a suitable source for NSCs which could be used in animal models to understand the basic and transplantation biology before treating to human. The difficulties in isolating pure population of NSCs limit the study of neural stem behavior and factors that regulate them. Several studies on human fetal brain and spinal cord derived NSCs in animal models have shown some interesting results for cell replacement therapies in many neurodegenerative diseases and stroke models. Also the methods and conditions used for in vitro culture of these cells provide an important base for their applicability and specificity in a definite target of the disease. Various important developments and modifications have been made in stem cells research which is needed to be more specified and enrolment in clinical studies using advanced approaches. This review explains about the current perspectives and suitable sources for NSCs isolation, characterization, in vitro proliferation and their use in cell replacement therapies for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases and strokes. PMID:25685495

  8. Subventricular Zone Neural Progenitors from Rapid Brain Autopsies of Elderly Subjects with and without Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Brian W.; Mastroeni, Diego; Grover, Andrew; Liu, Qiang; Yang, Kechun; Gao, Ming; Wu, Jie; Pootrakul, David; van den Berge, Simone A.; Hol, Elly M.; Rogers, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    In mice and young adult humans, the subventricular zone (SVZ) contains multipotent, dividing astrocytes, some of which, when cultured, produce neurospheres that differentiate into neurons and glia. It is unknown whether the SVZ of very old humans has this capacity. Here, we report that neural stem/progenitor cells can also be cultured from rapid autopsy samples of SVZ from elderly human subjects, including patients with age-related neurologic disorders. Histological sections of SVZ from these cases showed a GFAP-positive ribbon of astrocytes similar to the astrocyte ribbon in human periventricular white matter biopsies that is reported to be a rich source of neural progenitors. Cultures of the SVZ contained (1) neurospheres with a core of Musashi-1-, nestin-, and nucleostemin-immunopositive cells, as well as more differentiated GFAP-positive astrocytes; (2) SMI-311-, MAP2a/b-, and β-tubulin (III)-positive neurons; and (3) galactocerebroside-positive oligodendrocytes. Neurospheres continued to generate differentiated progeny for months after primary culturing, in some cases nearly two years post initial plating. Patch clamp studies of differentiated SVZ cells expressing neuron-specific antigens revealed voltage-dependent, tetrodotoxin-sensitive, inward Na+ currents and voltage-dependent, delayed, slowly inactivating K+ currents, electrophysiologic characteristics of neurons. A subpopulation of these cells also exhibited responses consistent with the kinetics and pharmacology of the h current. However, while these cells displayed some aspects of neuronal function, they remained immature, as they did not fire action potentials. These studies suggest that human neural progenitor activity may remain viable throughout much of the life span, even in the face of severe neurodegenerative disease. PMID:19425077

  9. Structural elucidation of the interaction between neurodegenerative disease-related tau protein with model lipid membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Emmalee M.

    A protein's sequence of amino acids determines how it folds. That folded structure is linked to protein function, and misfolding to dysfunction. Protein misfolding and aggregation into beta-sheet rich fibrillar aggregates is connected with over 20 neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is characterized in part by misfolding, aggregation and deposition of the microtubule associated tau protein into neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). However, two questions remain: What is tau's fibrillization mechanism, and what is tau's cytotoxicity mechanism? Tau is prone to heterogeneous interactions, including with lipid membranes. Lipids have been found in NFTs, anionic lipid vesicles induced aggregation of the microtubule binding domain of tau, and other protein aggregates induced ion permeability in cells. This evidence prompted our investigation of tau's interaction with model lipid membranes to elucidate the structural perturbations those interactions induced in tau protein and in the membrane. We show that although tau is highly charged and soluble, it is highly surface active and preferentially interacts with anionic membranes. To resolve molecular-scale structural details of tau and model membranes, we utilized X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. X-ray reflectivity indicated tau aggregated at air/water and anionic lipid membrane interfaces and penetrated into membranes. More significantly, membrane interfaces induced tau protein to partially adopt a more compact conformation with density similar to folded protein and ordered structure characteristic of beta-sheet formation. This suggests possible membrane-based mechanisms of tau aggregation. Membrane morphological changes were seen using fluorescence microscopy, and X-ray scattering techniques showed tau completely disrupts anionic membranes, suggesting an aggregate-based cytotoxicity mechanism. Further investigation of protein constructs and a "hyperphosphorylation" disease mimic helped

  10. Prominent effects and neural correlates of visual crowding in a neurodegenerative disease population

    PubMed Central

    Shakespeare, Timothy J.; Cash, Dave; Henley, Susie M. D.; Nicholas, Jennifer M.; Ridgway, Gerard R.; Golden, Hannah L.; Warrington, Elizabeth K.; Carton, Amelia M.; Kaski, Diego; Schott, Jonathan M.; Warren, Jason D.; Crutch, Sebastian J.

    2014-01-01

    atrophy provides a neurodegenerative disease model for exploring the basis of crowding. These data have significant implications for patients with, or who will go on to develop, dementia-related visual impairment, in whom acquired excessive crowding likely contributes to deficits in word, object, face and scene perception. PMID:25351740

  11. Structural insights into the interaction and disease mechanism of neurodegenerative disease-associated optineurin and TBK1 proteins.

    PubMed

    Li, Faxiang; Xie, Xingqiao; Wang, Yingli; Liu, Jianping; Cheng, Xiaofang; Guo, Yujiao; Gong, Yukang; Hu, Shichen; Pan, Lifeng

    2016-01-01

    Optineurin is an important autophagy receptor involved in several selective autophagy processes, during which its function is regulated by TBK1. Mutations of optineurin and TBK1 are both associated with neurodegenerative diseases. However, the mechanistic basis underlying the specific interaction between optineurin and TBK1 is still elusive. Here we determine the crystal structures of optineurin/TBK1 complex and the related NAP1/TBK1 complex, uncovering the detailed molecular mechanism governing the optineurin and TBK1 interaction, and revealing a general binding mode between TBK1 and its associated adaptor proteins. In addition, we demonstrate that the glaucoma-associated optineurin E50K mutation not only enhances the interaction between optineurin and TBK1 but also alters the oligomeric state of optineurin, and the ALS-related TBK1 E696K mutation specifically disrupts the optineurin/TBK1 complex formation but has little effect on the NAP1/TBK1 complex. Thus, our study provides mechanistic insights into those currently known disease-causing optineurin and TBK1 mutations found in patients. PMID:27620379

  12. Specific reduction of calcium-binding protein (28-kilodalton calbindin-D) gene expression in aging and neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Iacopino, A.M.; Christakos, S. )

    1990-06-01

    The present studies establish that there are specific, significant decreases in the neuronal calcium-binding protein (28-kDa calbindin-D) gene expression in aging and in neurodegenerative diseases. The specificity of the changes observed in calbindin mRNA levels was tested by reprobing blots with calmodulin, cyclophilin, and B-actin cDNAs. Gross brain regions of the aging rat exhibited specific, significant decreases in calbindin{center dot}mRNA and protein levels in the cerebellum, corpus striatum, and brain-stem region but not in the cerebral cortex or hippocampus. Discrete areas of the aging human brain exhibited significant decreases in calbindin protein and mRNA in the cerebellum, corpus striatum, and nucleus basalis but not in the neocortex, hippocampus, amygdala, locus ceruleus, or nucleus raphe dorsalis. Comparison of diseased human brain tissue with age- and sex-matched controls yielded significant decreases calbindin protein and mRNA in the substantia nigra (Parkinson disease), in the corpus striatum (Huntington disease), in the nucleus basalis (Alzheimer disease), and in the hippocampus and nucleus raphe dorsalis (Parkinson, Huntington, and Alzheimer diseases) but not in the cerebellum, neocortex, amygdala, or locus ceruleus. These findings suggest that decreased calbindin gene expression may lead to a failure of calcium buffering or intraneuronal calcium homeostasis, which contributes to calcium-mediated cytotoxic events during aging and in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Technologies enabling autologous neural stem cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative disease and injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakhru, Sasha H.

    The intrinsic abilities of mammalian neural stem cells (NSCs) to self-renew, migrate over large distances, and give rise to all primary neural cell types of the brain offer unprecedented opportunity for cell-based treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and injuries. This thesis discusses development of technologies in support of autologous NSC-based therapies, encompassing harvest of brain tissue biopsies from living human patients; isolation of NSCs from harvested tissue; efficient culture and expansion of NSCs in 3D polymeric microcapsule culture systems; optimization of microcapsules as carriers for efficient in vivo delivery of NSCs; genetic engineering of NSCs for drug-induced, enzymatic release of transplanted NSCs from microcapsules; genetic engineering for drug-induced differentiation of NSCs into specific therapeutic cell types; and synthesis of chitosan/iron-oxide nanoparticles for labeling of NSCs and in vivo tracking by cellular MRI. Sub-millimeter scale tissue samples were harvested endoscopically from subventricular zone regions of living patient brains, secondary to neurosurgical procedures including endoscopic third ventriculostomy and ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. On average, 12,000 +/- 3,000 NSCs were isolated per mm 3 of subventricular zone tissue, successfully demonstrated in 26 of 28 patients, ranging in age from one month to 68 years. In order to achieve efficient expansion of isolated NSCs to clinically relevant numbers (e.g. hundreds of thousands of cells in Parkinson's disease and tens of millions of cells in multiple sclerosis), an extracellular matrix-inspired, microcapsule-based culture platform was developed. Initial culture experiments with murine NSCs yielded unprecedented expansion folds of 30x in 5 days, from initially minute NSC populations (154 +/- 15 NSCs per 450 mum diameter capsule). Within 7 days, NSCs expanded as almost perfectly homogenous populations, with 94.9% +/- 4.1% of cultured cells staining positive for

  14. A review on the cause-effect relationship between oxidative stress and toxic proteins in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Borza, Liana Rada

    2014-01-01

    Protein aggregates are the defining pathological feature of human neurodegenerative diseases. Studies have revealed that mutant huntingtin, polyglutamine-expanded ataxin-1 and ataxin-3 can cause elevated levels of reactive oxygen species in neuronal cells. It has also been indicated that the normal host prion protein behaves as an antioxidant, while the neurotoxic peptide based on the sequence of the scrapie isoform increases hydrogen peroxide toxicity in neuronal cultures. Additionally, not only can oxidative stress contribute to the aggregation of beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein, but both beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein can induce oxidative damage. Furthermore, oxidative stressors have been shown to play a critical role in neurofibrillary pathology leading to tau hyperphosphorylation. In conclusion, the present review supports a cause-effect relationship between oxidative stress and toxic proteins in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24741770

  15. Technologies enabling autologous neural stem cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative disease and injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakhru, Sasha H.

    The intrinsic abilities of mammalian neural stem cells (NSCs) to self-renew, migrate over large distances, and give rise to all primary neural cell types of the brain offer unprecedented opportunity for cell-based treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and injuries. This thesis discusses development of technologies in support of autologous NSC-based therapies, encompassing harvest of brain tissue biopsies from living human patients; isolation of NSCs from harvested tissue; efficient culture and expansion of NSCs in 3D polymeric microcapsule culture systems; optimization of microcapsules as carriers for efficient in vivo delivery of NSCs; genetic engineering of NSCs for drug-induced, enzymatic release of transplanted NSCs from microcapsules; genetic engineering for drug-induced differentiation of NSCs into specific therapeutic cell types; and synthesis of chitosan/iron-oxide nanoparticles for labeling of NSCs and in vivo tracking by cellular MRI. Sub-millimeter scale tissue samples were harvested endoscopically from subventricular zone regions of living patient brains, secondary to neurosurgical procedures including endoscopic third ventriculostomy and ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. On average, 12,000 +/- 3,000 NSCs were isolated per mm 3 of subventricular zone tissue, successfully demonstrated in 26 of 28 patients, ranging in age from one month to 68 years. In order to achieve efficient expansion of isolated NSCs to clinically relevant numbers (e.g. hundreds of thousands of cells in Parkinson's disease and tens of millions of cells in multiple sclerosis), an extracellular matrix-inspired, microcapsule-based culture platform was developed. Initial culture experiments with murine NSCs yielded unprecedented expansion folds of 30x in 5 days, from initially minute NSC populations (154 +/- 15 NSCs per 450 mum diameter capsule). Within 7 days, NSCs expanded as almost perfectly homogenous populations, with 94.9% +/- 4.1% of cultured cells staining positive for

  16. Mouse models rarely mimic the transcriptome of human neurodegenerative diseases: A systematic bioinformatics-based critique of preclinical models.

    PubMed

    Burns, Terry C; Li, Matthew D; Mehta, Swapnil; Awad, Ahmed J; Morgan, Alexander A

    2015-07-15

    Translational research for neurodegenerative disease depends intimately upon animal models. Unfortunately, promising therapies developed using mouse models mostly fail in clinical trials, highlighting uncertainty about how well mouse models mimic human neurodegenerative disease at the molecular level. We compared the transcriptional signature of neurodegeneration in mouse models of Alzheimer׳s disease (AD), Parkinson׳s disease (PD), Huntington׳s disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to human disease. In contrast to aging, which demonstrated a conserved transcriptome between humans and mice, only 3 of 19 animal models showed significant enrichment for gene sets comprising the most dysregulated up- and down-regulated human genes. Spearman׳s correlation analysis revealed even healthy human aging to be more closely related to human neurodegeneration than any mouse model of AD, PD, ALS or HD. Remarkably, mouse models frequently upregulated stress response genes that were consistently downregulated in human diseases. Among potential alternate models of neurodegeneration, mouse prion disease outperformed all other disease-specific models. Even among the best available animal models, conserved differences between mouse and human transcriptomes were found across multiple animal model versus human disease comparisons, surprisingly, even including aging. Relative to mouse models, mouse disease signatures demonstrated consistent trends toward preserved mitochondrial function protein catabolism, DNA repair responses, and chromatin maintenance. These findings suggest a more complex and multifactorial pathophysiology in human neurodegeneration than is captured through standard animal models, and suggest that even among conserved physiological processes such as aging, mice are less prone to exhibit neurodegeneration-like changes. This work may help explain the poor track record of mouse-based translational therapies for neurodegeneration and provides a path

  17. Excess cerebral TNF causing glutamate excitotoxicity rationalizes treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and neurogenic pain by anti-TNF agents.

    PubMed

    Clark, Ian A; Vissel, Bryce

    2016-01-01

    The basic mechanism of the major neurodegenerative diseases, including neurogenic pain, needs to be agreed upon before rational treatments can be determined, but this knowledge is still in a state of flux. Most have agreed for decades that these disease states, both infectious and non-infectious, share arguments incriminating excitotoxicity induced by excessive extracellular cerebral glutamate. Excess cerebral levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) are also documented in the same group of disease states. However, no agreement exists on overarching mechanism for the harmful effects of excess TNF, nor, indeed how extracellular cerebral glutamate reaches toxic levels in these conditions. Here, we link the two, collecting and arguing the evidence that, across the range of neurodegenerative diseases, excessive TNF harms the central nervous system largely through causing extracellular glutamate to accumulate to levels high enough to inhibit synaptic activity or kill neurons and therefore their associated synapses as well. TNF can be predicted from the broader literature to cause this glutamate accumulation not only by increasing glutamate production by enhancing glutaminase, but in addition simultaneously reducing glutamate clearance by inhibiting re-uptake proteins. We also discuss the effects of a TNF receptor biological fusion protein (etanercept) and the indirect anti-TNF agents dithio-thalidomides, nilotinab, and cannabinoids on these neurological conditions. The therapeutic effects of 6-diazo-5-oxo-norleucine, ceptriaxone, and riluzole, agents unrelated to TNF but which either inhibit glutaminase or enhance re-uptake proteins, but do not do both, as would anti-TNF agents, are also discussed in this context. By pointing to excess extracellular glutamate as the target, these arguments greatly strengthen the case, put now for many years, to test appropriately delivered ant-TNF agents to treat neurodegenerative diseases in randomly controlled trials. PMID:27596607

  18. Commentary to Gorelenkova Miller and Mieyal (2015): sulfhydryl-mediated redox signaling in inflammation: role in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kato, Masashi; Ninomiya, Hiromasa; Maeda, Masao; Tanaka, Natsuko; Ilmiawati, Cimi; Yoshinaga, Masafumi

    2016-04-01

    Gorelenkova Miller and Mieyal (Arch Toxicol 89(9): 1439-1467, 2015) recently published a review paper suggesting that reversible cysteine plays a key role in redox-linked signal transduction via alteration of protein function, resulting in an association with many diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. Following their suggestions, we considered the correlation between sulfhydryl-mediated redox signaling and neurodegenerative diseases by focusing on RET proteins, a protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) potentially sited upstream of the signal transduction cascade. c-RET is the receptor for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family ligands. c-RET has been reported to be involved in not only Hirschsprung disease via development of the enteric nervous system but also neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We also showed that c-RET might be associated with hearing loss via neurodegeneration of spiral ganglion neurons in the inner ear after birth in mice and humans. Moreover, we have reported that three kinds of oxidative stress, ultraviolet light-induced stress, osmotic stress and arsenic-induced stress, modulate kinase activity of RET-PTC1 without an extracellular domain as well as c-RET by conformational change of RET protein (dimerization) via disulfide bond formation. The oxidative stresses also modulate kinase activity of RET-PTC1 with cysteine 365 (C365) replaced by alanine with promotion of dimer formation, but not with cysteine 376 (C376) replaced by alanine. Since C376 of Ret-PTC-1 or its equivalent is most highly conserved and crucial for activity in PTKs, the cysteine could be one of major targets for oxidative stresses. PMID:26780347

  19. Early Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases – The Long Awaited Holy Grail and Bottleneck of Modern Brain Research – 19th HUPO BPP Workshop

    PubMed Central

    Schrötter, Andreas; El Magraoui, Fouzi; Gröttrup, Bernd; Wiltfang, Jens; Heinsen, Helmut; Marcus, Katrin; Meyer, Helmut E.; Grinberg, Lea T.; Park, Young Mok

    2014-01-01

    The HUPO Brain Proteome Project (HUPO BPP) held its 19th workshop in Dortmund, Germany, from May 22 to 24, 2013. The focus of the spring workshop was on strategies and developments concerning early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases PMID:24108682

  20. Breaking peripheral immune tolerance to CNS antigens in neurodegenerative diseases: boosting autoimmunity to fight-off chronic neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Michal; Baruch, Kuti

    2014-11-01

    Immune cell infiltration to the brain's territory was considered for decades to reflect a pathological process in which immune cells attack the central nervous system (CNS); such a process is observed in the inflammatory autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). As neuroinflammatory processes within the CNS parenchyma are also common to other CNS pathologies, regardless of their etiology, including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), these pathologies have often been compared to MS, a disease that benefits from immunosuppressive therapy. Yet, over the last decade, it became clear that autoimmunity has a bright side, and that it plays a pivotal role in CNS repair following damage. Specifically, autoimmune T cells were found to facilitate CNS healing processes, such as in the case of sterile mechanical injuries to the brain or the spinal cord, mental stress, or biochemical insults. Even more intriguingly, autoimmune T cells were found to be involved in supporting fundamental processes of brain functional integrity, such as in the maintenance of life-long brain plasticity, including spatial learning and memory, and neurogenesis. Importantly, autoimmune T cells are part of a cellular network which, to operate efficiently and safely, requires tight regulation by other immune cell populations, such as regulatory T cells, which are indispensable for maintenance of immunological self-tolerance and homeostasis. Here, we suggest that dysregulation of the balance between peripheral immune suppression, on one hand, and protective autoimmunity, on the other, is an underlying mechanism in the emergence and progression of the neuroinflammatory response associated with chronic neurodegenerative diseases and brain aging. Mitigating chronic neuroinflammation under these conditions necessitates activation, rather than suppression, of the peripheral immune response directed against self. Accordingly, we propose that

  1. Extracellular vesicles--Their role in the packaging and spread of misfolded proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Bradley M; Hill, Andrew F

    2015-04-01

    Many cell types, including neurons, are known to release small membranous vesicles known as exosomes. In addition to their protein content these vesicles have recently been shown to contain messenger RNA (mRNA) and micro RNA (miRNA) species. Roles for these vesicles include cell-cell signalling, removal of unwanted proteins, and transfer of pathogens (including prion-like misfolded proteins) between cells, such as infectious prions. Prions are the infectious particles that are responsible for transmissible neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) of humans or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) of cattle. Exosomes are also involved in processing the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). As exosomes can be isolated from circulating fluids such as serum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), they provide a potential source of biomarkers for neurological conditions. Here, we review the roles these vesicles play in neurodegenerative disease and highlight their potential in diagnosing these disorders through analysis of their RNA content. PMID:25704308

  2. Blood-Brain Barrier and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein: A Limit to the Therapy of CNS Tumors and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Iorio, Anna Lisa; da Ros, Martina; Fantappiè, Ornella; Lucchesi, Maurizio; Facchini, Ludovica; Stival, Alessia; Becciani, Sabrina; Guidi, Milena; Favre, Claudio; de Martino, Maurizio; Genitori, Lorenzo; Sardi, Iacopo

    2016-01-01

    The treatment of brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases, represents an ongoing challenge. In Central Nervous System (CNS) the achievement of therapeutic concentration of chemical agents is complicated by the presence of distinct set of efflux proteins, such as ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters localized on the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). The activity of ABC transporters seems to be a common mechanism that underlies the poor response of CNS diseases to therapies. The molecular characterization of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2), as an ABC transporter conferring multidrug resistance (MDR), has stimulated many studies to investigate its activity on the BBB, its involvement in physiology and CNS diseases and its role in limiting the delivery of drugs in CNS. In this review, we highlight the activity and localization of BCRP on the BBB and the action that this efflux pump has on many conventional drugs or latest generation molecules used for the treatment of CNS tumors and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26584727

  3. Blood-Brain Barrier and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein: A Limit to the Therapy of CNS Tumors and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Iorio, Anna Lisa; Ros, Martina da; Fantappiè, Ornella; Lucchesi, Maurizio; Facchini, Ludovica; Stival, Alessia; Becciani, Sabrina; Guidi, Milena; Favre, Claudio; Martino, Maurizio de; Genitori, Lorenzo; Sardi, Iacopo

    2016-01-01

    The treatment of brain tumors and neurodegenerative diseases, represents an ongoing challenge. In Central Nervous System (CNS) the achievement of therapeutic concentration of chemical agents is complicated by the presence of distinct set of efflux proteins, such as ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters localized on the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). The activity of ABC transporters seems to be a common mechanism that underlies the poor response of CNS diseases to therapies. The molecular characterization of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2), as an ABC transporter conferring multidrug resistance (MDR), has stimulated many studies to investigate its activity on the BBB, its involvement in physiology and CNS diseases and its role in limiting the delivery of drugs in CNS. In this review, we highlight the activity and localization of BCRP on the BBB and the action that this efflux pump has on many conventional drugs or latest generation molecules used for the treatment of CNS tumors and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26584727

  4. Functional hyperspectral imaging captures subtle details of cell metabolism in olfactory neurosphere cells, disease-specific models of neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Gosnell, Martin E; Anwer, Ayad G; Cassano, Juan C; Sue, Carolyn M; Goldys, Ewa M

    2016-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging uses spectral and spatial image information for target detection and classification. In this work hyperspectral autofluorescence imaging was applied to patient olfactory neurosphere-derived cells, a cell model of a human metabolic disease MELAS (mitochondrial myopathy, encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, stroke-like syndrome). By using an endogenous source of contrast subtle metabolic variations have been detected between living cells in their full morphological context which made it possible to distinguish healthy from diseased cells before and after therapy. Cellular maps of native fluorophores, flavins, bound and free NADH and retinoids unveiled subtle metabolic signatures and helped uncover significant cell subpopulations, in particular a subpopulation with compromised mitochondrial function. Taken together, our results demonstrate that multispectral spectral imaging provides a new non-invasive method to investigate neurodegenerative and other disease models, and it paves the way for novel cellular characterisation in health, disease and during treatment, with proper account of intrinsic cellular heterogeneity. PMID:26431992

  5. The Role of Histone Deacetylases in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Small-Molecule Inhibitors as a Potential Therapeutic Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bürli, Roland W.; Thomas, Elizabeth; Beaumont, Vahri

    Neurodegenerative disorders are devastating for patients and their social environment. Their etiology is poorly understood and complex. As a result, there is clearly an urgent need for therapeutic agents that slow down disease progress and alleviate symptoms. In this respect, interference with expression and function of multiple gene products at the epigenetic level has offered much promise, and histone deacetylases play a crucial role in these processes. This review presents an overview of the biological pathways in which these enzymes are involved and illustrates the complex network of proteins that governs their activity. An overview of small molecules that interfere with histone deacetylase function is provided.

  6. Galantamine-loaded PLGA nanoparticles, from nano-emulsion templating, as novel advanced drug delivery systems to treat neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornaguera, C.; Feiner-Gracia, N.; Calderó, G.; García-Celma, M. J.; Solans, C.

    2015-07-01

    Polymeric nanoparticles could be promising drug delivery systems to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Among the various methods of nanoparticle preparation, nano-emulsion templating was used in the present study to prepare galantamine-loaded nano-emulsions by a low-energy emulsification method followed by solvent evaporation to obtain galantamine-loaded polymeric nanoparticles. This approach was found to be suitable because biocompatible, biodegradable and safe nanoparticles with appropriate features (hydrodynamic radii around 20 nm, negative surface charge and stability higher than 3 months) for their intravenous administration were obtained. Encapsulation efficiencies higher than 90 wt% were obtained with a sustained drug release profile as compared to that from aqueous and micellar solutions. The enzymatic activity of the drug was maintained at 80% after its encapsulation into nanoparticles that were non-cytotoxic at the required therapeutic concentration. Therefore, novel galantamine-loaded polymeric nanoparticles have been designed for the first time using the nano-emulsification approach and showed the appropriate features to become advanced drug delivery systems to treat neurodegenerative diseases.Polymeric nanoparticles could be promising drug delivery systems to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Among the various methods of nanoparticle preparation, nano-emulsion templating was used in the present study to prepare galantamine-loaded nano-emulsions by a low-energy emulsification method followed by solvent evaporation to obtain galantamine-loaded polymeric nanoparticles. This approach was found to be suitable because biocompatible, biodegradable and safe nanoparticles with appropriate features (hydrodynamic radii around 20 nm, negative surface charge and stability higher than 3 months) for their intravenous administration were obtained. Encapsulation efficiencies higher than 90 wt% were obtained with a sustained drug release profile as compared to that from

  7. Nature, nurture and neurology: gene-environment interactions in neurodegenerative disease. FEBS Anniversary Prize Lecture delivered on 27 June 2004 at the 29th FEBS Congress in Warsaw.

    PubMed

    Spires, Tara L; Hannan, Anthony J

    2005-05-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases, affect millions of people worldwide and currently there are few effective treatments and no cures for these diseases. Transgenic mice expressing human transgenes for huntingtin, amyloid precursor protein, and other genes associated with familial forms of neurodegenerative disease in humans provide remarkable tools for studying neurodegeneration because they mimic many of the pathological and behavioural features of the human conditions. One of the recurring themes revealed by these various transgenic models is that different diseases may share similar molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogenesis. Cellular mechanisms known to be disrupted at early stages in multiple neurodegenerative disorders include gene expression, protein interactions (manifesting as pathological protein aggregation and disrupted signaling), synaptic function and plasticity. Recent work in mouse models of Huntington's disease has shown that enriching the environment of transgenic animals delays the onset and slows the progression of Huntington's disease-associated motor and cognitive symptoms. Environmental enrichment is known to induce various molecular and cellular changes in specific brain regions of wild-type animals, including altered gene expression profiles, enhanced neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. The promising effects of environmental stimulation, demonstrated recently in models of neurodegenerative disease, suggest that therapy based on the principles of environmental enrichment might benefit disease sufferers and provide insight into possible mechanisms of neurodegeneration and subsequent identification of novel therapeutic targets. Here, we review the studies of environmental enrichment relevant to some major neurodegenerative diseases and discuss their research and clinical implications. PMID:15885086

  8. The Progression of Posterior Cortical Atrophy to Corticobasal Syndrome: Lumping or Splitting Neurodegenerative Diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Giorelli, Maurizio; Losignore, Nunzia Alessandra; Bagnoli, Junia; Difazio, Pasquale; Zimatore, Giovanni Bosco

    2014-01-01

    Background Posterior cortical atrophy is a clinical syndrome that is characterized by the progressive loss of visuospatial integration and is associated with neurodegenerative conditions. Case Report We describe a 60-year-old female with simultanagnosia, oculomotor apraxia, and optic ataxia for which she received an initial clinical diagnosis of posterior cortical atrophy. Three years later, she developed Balint's syndrome, Gerstmann's syndrome, left alien hand syndrome, smooth asymmetric (left) rigidity, cortical sensory loss, and spontaneous myoclonic jerks of the left arm, which suggested a final diagnosis of corticobasal syndrome. Discussion This case report indicates that corticobasal syndrome may present with visuospatial deficits. PMID:25009764

  9. Neurodegenerative disease phenotypes in carriers of MAPT p.A152T, a risk factor for frontotemporal dementia spectrum disorders and Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Lee, Suzee E; Tartaglia, Maria C; Yener, Görsev; Genç, Sermin; Seeley, William W; Sanchez-Juan, Pascual; Moreno, Fermin; Mendez, Mario F; Klein, Eric; Rademakers, Rosa; López de Munain, Adolfo; Combarros, Onofre; Kramer, Joel H; Kenet, Robert O; Boxer, Adam L; Geschwind, Michael D; Gorno-Tempini, Maria-Luisa; Karydas, Anna M; Rabinovici, Gil D; Coppola, Giovanni; Geschwind, Daniel H; Miller, Bruce L

    2013-01-01

    Recently, Coppola and colleagues demonstrated that a rare microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) sequence variant, c.454G>A (p.A152T) significantly increases the risk of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) spectrum disorders and Alzheimer disease (AD) in a screen of 15,369 subjects. We describe clinical features of 9 patients with neurodegenerative disease (4 women) harboring p.A152T, aged 51 to 79 years at symptom onset. Seven developed FTD spectrum clinical syndromes, including progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome (n=2), behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD, n=1), nonfluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA, n=2), and corticobasal syndrome (n=2); 2 patients were diagnosed with clinical AD. Thus, MAPT p.A152T is associated with a variety of FTD spectrum clinical presentations, although patients with clinical AD are also identified. These data warrant larger studies with clinicopathologic correlation to elucidate the influence of this genetic variant on neurodegenerative disease. PMID:23518664

  10. Lysine 63-linked ubiquitination promotes the formation and autophagic clearance of protein inclusions associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jeanne M M; Wong, Esther S P; Kirkpatrick, Donald S; Pletnikova, Olga; Ko, Han Seok; Tay, Shiam-Peng; Ho, Michelle W L; Troncoso, Juan; Gygi, Steven P; Lee, Michael K; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M; Lim, Kah-Leong

    2008-02-01

    Although ubiquitin-enriched protein inclusions represent an almost invariant feature of neurodegenerative diseases, the mechanism underlying their biogenesis remains unclear. In particular, whether the topology of ubiquitin linkages influences the dynamics of inclusions is not well explored. Here, we report that lysine 48 (K48)- and lysine 63 (K63)-linked polyubiquitination, as well as monoubiquitin modification contribute to the biogenesis of inclusions. K63-linked polyubiquitin is the most consistent enhancer of inclusions formation. Under basal conditions, ectopic expression of K63 mutant ubiquitin in cultured cells promotes the accumulation of proteins and the formation of intracellular inclusions in the apparent absence of proteasome impairment. When co-expressed with disease-associated tau and SOD1 mutants, K63 ubiquitin mutant facilitates the formation of tau- and SOD-1-positive inclusions. Moreover, K63-linked ubiquitination was found to selectively facilitate the clearance of inclusions via autophagy. These data indicate that K63-linked ubiquitin chains may represent a common denominator underlying inclusions biogenesis, as well as a general cellular strategy for defining cargo destined for the autophagic system. Collectively, our results provide a novel mechanistic route that underlies the life cycle of an inclusion body. Harnessing this pathway may offer innovative approaches in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:17981811

  11. A Missense Change in the ATG4D Gene Links Aberrant Autophagy to a Neurodegenerative Vacuolar Storage Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kyöstilä, Kaisa; Syrjä, Pernilla; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Chandrasekar, Gayathri; Jokinen, Tarja S.; Seppälä, Eija H.; Becker, Doreen; Drögemüller, Michaela; Dietschi, Elisabeth; Drögemüller, Cord; Lang, Johann; Steffen, Frank; Rohdin, Cecilia; Jäderlund, Karin H.; Lappalainen, Anu K.; Hahn, Kerstin; Wohlsein, Peter; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Henke, Diana; Oevermann, Anna; Kere, Juha; Lohi, Hannes; Leeb, Tosso

    2015-01-01

    Inherited neurodegenerative disorders are debilitating diseases that occur across different species. We have performed clinical, pathological and genetic studies to characterize a novel canine neurodegenerative disease present in the Lagotto Romagnolo dog breed. Affected dogs suffer from progressive cerebellar ataxia, sometimes accompanied by episodic nystagmus and behavioral changes. Histological examination revealed unique pathological changes, including profound neuronal cytoplasmic vacuolization in the nervous system, as well as spheroid formation and cytoplasmic aggregation of vacuoles in secretory epithelial tissues and mesenchymal cells. Genetic analyses uncovered a missense change, c.1288G>A; p.A430T, in the autophagy-related ATG4D gene on canine chromosome 20 with a highly significant disease association (p = 3.8 x 10-136) in a cohort of more than 2300 Lagotto Romagnolo dogs. ATG4D encodes a poorly characterized cysteine protease belonging to the macroautophagy pathway. Accordingly, our histological analyses indicated altered autophagic flux in affected tissues. The knockdown of the zebrafish homologue atg4da resulted in a widespread developmental disturbance and neurodegeneration in the central nervous system. Our study describes a previously unknown canine neurological disease with particular pathological features and implicates the ATG4D protein as an important autophagy mediator in neuronal homeostasis. The canine phenotype serves as a model to delineate the disease-causing pathological mechanism(s) and ATG4D function, and can also be used to explore treatment options. Furthermore, our results reveal a novel candidate gene for human neurodegeneration and enable the development of a genetic test for veterinary diagnostic and breeding purposes. PMID:25875846

  12. Copy Number Variations in the Survival Motor Neuron Genes: Implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Butchbach, Matthew E. R.

    2016-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an early-onset, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of spinal α-motor neurons. This loss of α-motor neurons is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA can be classified into five clinical grades based on age of onset and severity of the disease. Regardless of clinical grade, proximal SMA results from the loss or mutation of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1) on chromosome 5q13. In humans a large tandem chromosomal duplication has lead to a second copy of the SMN gene locus known as SMN2. SMN2 is distinguishable from SMN1 by a single nucleotide difference that disrupts an exonic splice enhancer in exon 7. As a result, most of SMN2 mRNAs lack exon 7 (SMNΔ7) and produce a protein that is both unstable and less than fully functional. Although only 10–20% of the SMN2 gene product is fully functional, increased genomic copies of SMN2 inversely correlates with disease severity among individuals with SMA. Because SMN2 copy number influences disease severity in SMA, there is prognostic value in accurate measurement of SMN2 copy number from patients being evaluated for SMA. This prognostic value is especially important given that SMN2 copy number is now being used as an inclusion criterion for SMA clinical trials. In addition to SMA, copy number variations (CNVs) in the SMN genes can affect the clinical severity of other neurological disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). This review will discuss how SMN1 and SMN2 CNVs are detected and why accurate measurement of SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers is relevant for SMA and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27014701

  13. A missense change in the ATG4D gene links aberrant autophagy to a neurodegenerative vacuolar storage disease.

    PubMed

    Kyöstilä, Kaisa; Syrjä, Pernilla; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Chandrasekar, Gayathri; Jokinen, Tarja S; Seppälä, Eija H; Becker, Doreen; Drögemüller, Michaela; Dietschi, Elisabeth; Drögemüller, Cord; Lang, Johann; Steffen, Frank; Rohdin, Cecilia; Jäderlund, Karin H; Lappalainen, Anu K; Hahn, Kerstin; Wohlsein, Peter; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Henke, Diana; Oevermann, Anna; Kere, Juha; Lohi, Hannes; Leeb, Tosso

    2015-04-01

    Inherited neurodegenerative disorders are debilitating diseases that occur across different species. We have performed clinical, pathological and genetic studies to characterize a novel canine neurodegenerative disease present in the Lagotto Romagnolo dog breed. Affected dogs suffer from progressive cerebellar ataxia, sometimes accompanied by episodic nystagmus and behavioral changes. Histological examination revealed unique pathological changes, including profound neuronal cytoplasmic vacuolization in the nervous system, as well as spheroid formation and cytoplasmic aggregation of vacuoles in secretory epithelial tissues and mesenchymal cells. Genetic analyses uncovered a missense change, c.1288G>A; p.A430T, in the autophagy-related ATG4D gene on canine chromosome 20 with a highly significant disease association (p = 3.8 x 10-136) in a cohort of more than 2300 Lagotto Romagnolo dogs. ATG4D encodes a poorly characterized cysteine protease belonging to the macroautophagy pathway. Accordingly, our histological analyses indicated altered autophagic flux in affected tissues. The knockdown of the zebrafish homologue atg4da resulted in a widespread developmental disturbance and neurodegeneration in the central nervous system. Our study describes a previously unknown canine neurological disease with particular pathological features and implicates the ATG4D protein as an important autophagy mediator in neuronal homeostasis. The canine phenotype serves as a model to delineate the disease-causing pathological mechanism(s) and ATG4D function, and can also be used to explore treatment options. Furthermore, our results reveal a novel candidate gene for human neurodegeneration and enable the development of a genetic test for veterinary diagnostic and breeding purposes. PMID:25875846

  14. Emerging bioinformatics approaches for analysis of NGS-derived coding and non-coding RNAs in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Guffanti, Alessandro; Simchovitz, Alon; Soreq, Hermona

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases in general and specifically late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) involve a genetically complex and largely obscure ensemble of causative and risk factors accompanied by complex feedback responses. The advent of “high-throughput” transcriptome investigation technologies such as microarray and deep sequencing is increasingly being combined with sophisticated statistical and bioinformatics analysis methods complemented by knowledge-based approaches such as Bayesian Networks or network and graph analyses. Together, such “integrative” studies are beginning to identify co-regulated gene networks linked with biological pathways and potentially modulating disease predisposition, outcome, and progression. Specifically, bioinformatics analyses of integrated microarray and genotyping data in cases and controls reveal changes in gene expression of both protein-coding and small and long regulatory RNAs; highlight relevant quantitative transcriptional differences between LOAD and non-demented control brains and demonstrate reconfiguration of functionally meaningful molecular interaction structures in LOAD. These may be measured as changes in connectivity in “hub nodes” of relevant gene networks (Zhang etal., 2013). We illustrate here the open analytical questions in the transcriptome investigation of neurodegenerative disease studies, proposing “ad hoc” strategies for the evaluation of differential gene expression and hints for a simple analysis of the non-coding RNA (ncRNA) part of such datasets. We then survey the emerging role of long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) in the healthy and diseased brain transcriptome and describe the main current methods for computational modeling of gene networks. We propose accessible modular and pathway-oriented methods and guidelines for bioinformatics investigations of whole transcriptome next generation sequencing datasets. We finally present methods and databases for functional interpretations of lncRNAs and

  15. The utility of α-synuclein as biofluid marker in neurodegenerative diseases: a systematic review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Simonsen, Anja Hviid; Kuiperij, Bea; El-Agnaf, Omar Mukhtar Ali; Engelborghs, Sebastian; Herukka, Sanna-Kaisa; Parnetti, Lucilla; Rektorova, Irena; Vanmechelen, Eugeen; Kapaki, Elisabeth; Verbeek, Marcel; Mollenhauer, Brit

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of α-synuclein (α-syn) as a major component of Lewy bodies, neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies and of glial inclusions in multiple system atrophy initiated the investigation of α-syn as a biomarker in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Due to the involvement of the periphery in PD the quantification of α-syn in peripheral fluids such as serum, plasma and saliva has been investigated as well. We review how the development of multiple assays for the quantification of α-syn has yielded novel insights into the variety of α-syn species present in the different fluids; the optimal preanalytical conditions required for robust quantification and the potential clinical value of α-syn as biomarker. We also suggest future approaches to use of CSF α-syn in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26314196

  16. Bullous pemphigoid and neurodegenerative diseases: a study in a setting of a Central European university dermatology department.

    PubMed

    Pietkiewicz, Paweł; Gornowicz-Porowska, Justyna; Bowszyc-Dmochowska, Monika; Bartkiewicz, Paweł; Dmochowski, Marian

    2016-08-01

    Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is an autoimmune blistering dermatosis of the elderly mediated by IgG and IgE antibodies to skin hemidesmosomal proteins, BP180 and/or BP230, that occur physiologically also in neuronal tissue. It was reported that BP is associated with neurodegenerative diseases (ND). We performed a retrospective study in a setting of a Central European university dermatology department on prevalence of ND in 94 BP patients. 26 out of 94 BP patients had at least one ND. ND included: Parkinson's disease, dementia, stroke, hear loss, tinnitus, blindness, vertigo, neurosyphilis, systemic sclerosis, and epilepsy. Since population aging is conceivably responsible for the rising number of BP cases as a result of immunosenescence-related phenomena, the plausible BP-specific immunopathogenetic relationship between BP and ND deserves to be further experimentally explored. PMID:26420424

  17. Cholesterol homeostatic responses provide biomarkers for monitoring treatment for the neurodegenerative disease Niemann–Pick C1 (NPC1)

    PubMed Central

    Tortelli, Brett; Fujiwara, Hideji; Bagel, Jessica H.; Zhang, Jessie; Sidhu, Rohini; Jiang, Xuntian; Yanjanin, Nicole M.; Shankar, Roopa Kanakatti; Carillo-Carasco, Nuria; Heiss, John; Ottinger, Elizabeth; Porter, Forbes D.; Schaffer, Jean E.; Vite, Charles H.; Ory, Daniel S.

    2014-01-01

    Niemann–Pick C1 (NPC1) disease is a rare, neurodegenerative lysosomal cholesterol storage disorder, typified by progressive cognitive and motor function impairment. Affected individuals usually succumb to the disease in adolescence. 2-Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) has emerged as a promising intervention that reduces lipid storage and prolongs survival in NPC1 disease animal models. A barrier to the development of HP-β-CD and other treatments for NPC disease has been the lack of validated biochemical measures to evaluate efficacy. Here we explored whether cholesterol homeostatic responses resulting from HP-β-CD-mediated redistribution of sequestered lysosomal cholesterol could provide biomarkers to monitor treatment. Upon direct CNS delivery of HP-β-CD, we found increases in plasma 24(S)-HC in two independent NPC1 disease animal models, findings that were confirmed in human NPC1 subjects receiving HP-β-CD. Since circulating 24(S)-HC is almost exclusively CNS-derived, the increase in plasma 24(S)-HC provides a peripheral, non-invasive measure of the CNS effect of HP-β-CD. Our findings suggest that plasma 24(S)-HC, along with the other cholesterol-derived markers examined in this study, can serve as biomarkers that will accelerate development of therapeutics for NPC1 disease. PMID:24964810

  18. Parallel Age-Associated Changes in Brain and Plasma Neuronal Pentraxin Receptor Levels in a Transgenic APP/PS1 Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bilousova, Tina; Taylor, Karen; Emirzian, Ana; Gylys, Raymond; Frautschy, Sally A.; Cole, Gregory M.; Teng, Edmond

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPR) is a synaptic protein implicated in AMPA receptor trafficking at excitatory synapses. Since glutamate neurotransmission is disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), NPR levels measured from plasma represent a potential biomarker for synaptic dysfunction associated with AD. We sought to determine the relationship between AD pathology and brain and plasma NPR levels by examining age-associated NPR levels in these compartments in a transgenic APP/PS1 rat model of AD. NPR levels in cortical homogenate were similar in wild-type (Wt) and APP/PS1 rats at 3 months of age (prior to Aβ plaque deposition), but significantly increased in APP/PS1 rats by 9 and 18-20 months of age (after the onset of plaque deposition). These age-dependent differences were driven by proportional increases in NPR in membrane-associated cortical fractions. Genotype-related differences in NPR expression were also seen in the hippocampus, which exhibits significant Aβ pathology, but not in the cerebellum, which does not. Plasma analyses revealed increased levels of a 26 kDa NPR fragment in APP/PS1 rats relative to Wt rats by 18-20 months of age, which correlated with the levels of full-length NPR in cortex. Our findings indicate that cerebral accumulation of NPR and Aβ occurs with similar temporal and regional patterns in the APP/PS1 model, and suggest that a 26 kDa plasma NPR fragment may represent a peripheral biomarker of this process. PMID:25449907

  19. Copy number variation analysis of the 17q21.31 region and its role in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Cervera-Carles, Laura; Pagonabarraga, Javier; Pascual-Sedano, Berta; Pastor, Pau; Campolongo, Antonia; Fortea, Juan; Blesa, Rafael; Alcolea, Daniel; Morenas-Rodríguez, Estrella; Sala, Isabel; Lleó, Alberto; Kulisevsky, Jaime; Clarimón, Jordi

    2016-03-01

    The H1 haplotype of the 17q21.31 inversion polymorphism has been consistently associated with progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and Parkinson's disease in Caucasians. Recently, large polymorphic segmental duplications resulting into complex rearrangements at this locus with a high diversity range in human populations have been revealed. We sought to explore whether the two multi-allelic copy number variants that are present in the H1 clade (with segmental duplications of 300 and 218 kilobases in length) could be responsible for the known H1-related risk of developing these neurodegenerative disorders. A total of 857 Spanish subjects including 330 patients with Parkinson's disease, 96 with progressive supranuclear palsy, 55 with corticobasal degeneration, 51 dementia with Lewy bodies, and 325 neurologically healthy controls, were genotyped for the H1/H2 haplotype. Subsequently, the two copy number variants that are characteristic of the H1 haplotype were evaluated through a high-resolution approach based on droplet digital polymerase chain reaction, in all H1 homozygous subjects. The H1 allele was significantly overrepresented in all diagnostic groups compared with controls (Parkinson's disease, P = 0.0001; progressive supranuclear palsy, P = 1.22 × 10(-6) ; corticobasal degeneration, P = 0.0002; and dementia with Lewy bodies, P = 0.032). However, no dosage differences were found for any of the two copy number variants analyzed. The H1 haplotype is associated with the risk of several neurodegenerative disorders, including dementia with Lewy bodies. However, common structural diversity within the 17q21.31-H1 clade does not explain this genetic association. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26453547

  20. Preventing Ca2+-mediated nitrosative stress in neurodegenerative diseases: Possible pharmacological strategies

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2010-01-01

    Overactivation of the NMDA-subtype of glutamate receptor is known to trigger excessive calcium influx, contributing to neurodegenerative conditions. Such dysregulation of calcium signaling results in generation of excessive free radicals, including reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS), including nitric oxide (NO). In turn, we and our colleagues have shown that these free radicals trigger pathological production of misfolded proteins, mitochondrial dysfunction, and apoptotic pathways in neuronal cells. Here, we discuss emerging evidence that excessive calcium-induced NO production can contribute to the accumulation of misfolded proteins, specifically by S-nitrosylation of the ubiquitin E3 ligase, parkin, and the chaperone enzyme for nascent protein folding, protein-disulfide isomerase. Additionally, excessive calcium-induced NO generation leads to the formation of S-nitrosylated dynamin-related protein 1, which causes abnormal mitochondrial fragmentation and resultant synaptic damage. In this review, we also discuss how two novel classes of pharmacological agents hold promise to interrupt these pathological processes. Firstly, the NMDA receptor antagonists, Memantine and NitroMemantine, block excessive extrasynaptic glutamate excitation while maintaining synaptic transmission, thereby limiting excessive calcium influx and production of ROS/RNS. Secondly, therapeutic pro-electrophiles are activated in the face of oxidative insult, thus protecting cells from calcium-induced oxidative stress via the Keap1/Nrf2 transcriptional pathway. PMID:20060165

  1. Structure of an Aprataxin–DNA complex with insights into AOA1 Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Tumbale, Percy; Appel, C. Denise; Kraehenbuehl, Rolf; Robertson, Patrick D.; Williams, Jessica S.; Krahn, Joe; Ahel, Ivan; Williams, R. Scott

    2011-01-01

    DNA ligases finalize DNA replication and repair through DNA nick-sealing reactions that can abort to generate cytotoxic 5′-adenylation DNA damage (5′-AMP). Aprataxin (Aptx) catalyses direct reversal of 5′-AMP adducts to protect genome integrity. Here, the structure of an Aptx-DNA-AMP-Zn complex reveals active site and DNA interaction clefts formed by fusing a HIT (histidine triad) nucleotide hydrolase with an unprecedented DNA minor groove binding C2HE Zn-finger (Znf). An Aptx helical wedge interrogates the base stack for DNA end/nick sensing. HIT-Znf, the wedge, and an "[F/Y]PK" pivot motif cooperate to distort terminal DNA base-pairing and direct 5′-AMP into the active site pocket. Structural and mutational data support a wedge-pivot-cut HIT-Znf catalytic mechanism for 5′-AMP adduct recognition and removal, and suggest mutations impacting protein folding, the active site pocket, and the pivot underlie Aptx dysfunction in the neurodegenerative disorder Ataxia Oculomotor Apraxia 1 (AOA1). PMID:21984210

  2. Structure of an aprataxin-DNA complex with insights into AOA1 neurodegenerative disease

    SciTech Connect

    Tumbale, Percy; Appel, C Denise; Kraehenbuehl, Rolf; Robertson, Patrick D; Williams, Jessica S; Krahn, Joe; Ahel, Ivan; Williams, R Scott

    2012-09-17

    DNA ligases finalize DNA replication and repair through DNA nick-sealing reactions that can abort to generate cytotoxic 5'-adenylation DNA damage. Aprataxin (Aptx) catalyzes direct reversal of 5'-adenylate adducts to protect genome integrity. Here the structure of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe Aptx-DNA-AMP-Zn2+ complex reveals active site and DNA interaction clefts formed by fusing a histidine triad (HIT) nucleotide hydrolase with a DNA minor groove-binding C2HE zinc finger (Znf). An Aptx helical 'wedge' interrogates the base stack for sensing DNA ends or DNA nicks. The HIT-Znf, the wedge and an '[F/Y]PK' pivot motif cooperate to distort terminal DNA base-pairing and direct 5'-adenylate into the active site pocket. Structural and mutational data support a wedge-pivot-cut HIT-Znf catalytic mechanism for 5'-adenylate adduct recognition and removal and suggest that mutations affecting protein folding, the active site pocket and the pivot motif underlie Aptx dysfunction in the neurodegenerative disorder ataxia with oculomotor apraxia 1 (AOA1).

  3. The Effects of Hempseed Meal Intake and Linoleic Acid on Drosophila Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Hypercholesterolemia

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Min Jung; Park, Seung Hwan; Han, Ju Hua; Hong, Yoon Ki; Hwang, Soojin; Lee, Soojin; Kim, Darae; Han, Seung Yeop; Kim, Eun Soo; Cho, Kyoung Sang

    2011-01-01

    Hempseed is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have potential as therapeutic compounds for the treatment of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular dis-ease. However, the effect of hempseed meal (HSM) intake on the animal models of these diseases has yet to be elucidated. In this study, we assessed the effects of the intake of HSM and PUFAs on oxidative stress, cytotoxicity and neurological phenotypes, and cholesterol uptake, using Drosophila models. HSM intake was shown to reduce H2O2 toxicity markedly, indicating that HSM exerts a profound antioxidant effect. Meanwhile, intake of HSM, as well as linoleic or linolenic acids (major PUFA components of HSM) was shown to ameliorate Aβ42-induced eye degeneration, thus suggesting that these compounds exert a protective effect against Aβ42 cytotoxicity. On the contrary, locomotion and longevity in the Parkinson’s disease model andeye degeneration in the Huntington’s disease model were unaffected by HSM feeding. Additionally, intake of HSM or linoleic acid was shown to reduce cholesterol uptake significantly. Moreover, linoleic acid intake has been shown to delay pupariation, and cholesterol feeding rescued the linoleic acid-induced larval growth delay, thereby indicating that linoleic acid acts antagonistically with cholesterol during larval growth. In conclusion, our results indicate that HSM and linoleic acid exert inhibitory effects on both Aβ42 cytotoxicity and cholesterol uptake, and are potential candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovasculardisease. PMID:21331775

  4. Common pitfalls of stem cell differentiation: a guide to improving protocols for neurodegenerative disease models and research.

    PubMed

    Engel, Martin; Do-Ha, Dzung; Muñoz, Sonia Sanz; Ooi, Lezanne

    2016-10-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells have revolutionized cellular neuroscience, providing the opportunity to model neurological diseases and test potential therapeutics in a pre-clinical setting. The power of these models has been widely discussed, but the potential pitfalls of stem cell differentiation in this research are less well described. We have analyzed the literature that describes differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into three neural cell types that are commonly used to study diseases, including forebrain cholinergic neurons for Alzheimer's disease, midbrain dopaminergic neurons for Parkinson's disease and cortical astrocytes for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Published protocols for differentiation vary widely in the reported efficiency of target cell generation. Additionally, characterization of the cells by expression profile and functionality differs between studies and is often insufficient, leading to highly variable protocol outcomes. We have synthesized this information into a simple methodology that can be followed when performing or assessing differentiation techniques. Finally we propose three considerations for future research, including the use of physiological O2 conditions, three-dimensional co-culture systems and microfluidics to control feeding cycles and growth factor gradients. Following these guidelines will help researchers to ensure that robust and meaningful data is generated, enabling the full potential of stem cell differentiation for disease modeling and regenerative medicine. PMID:27154043

  5. Is Dysregulation of the HPA-Axis a Core Pathophysiology Mediating Co-Morbid Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases?

    PubMed

    Du, Xin; Pang, Terence Y

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of prodromal manifestation of neuropsychiatric symptoms in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). These affective symptoms may be observed many years before the core diagnostic symptoms of the neurological condition. It is becoming more apparent that depression is a significant modifying factor of the trajectory of disease progression and even treatment outcomes. It is therefore crucial that we understand the potential pathophysiologies related to the primary condition, which could contribute to the development of depression. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis is a key neuroendocrine signaling system involved in physiological homeostasis and stress response. Disturbances of this system lead to severe hormonal imbalances, and the majority of such patients also present with behavioral deficits and/or mood disorders. Dysregulation of the HPA-axis is also strongly implicated in the pathology of major depressive disorder. Consistent with this, antidepressant drugs, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to alter HPA-axis activity. In this review, we will summarize the current state of knowledge regarding HPA-axis pathology in Alzheimer's, PD and HD, differentiating between prodromal and later stages of disease progression when evidence is available. Both clinical and preclinical evidence will be examined, but we highlight animal model studies as being particularly useful for uncovering novel mechanisms of pathology related to co-morbid mood disorders. Finally, we purpose utilizing the preclinical evidence to better inform prospective, intervention studies. PMID:25806005

  6. Aquatherapy for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Plecash, Alyson R; Leavitt, Blair R

    2014-01-01

    Aquatherapy is used for rehabilitation and exercise; water provides a challenging, yet safe exercise environment for many special populations. We have reviewed the use of aquatherapy programs in four neurodegenerative disorders: Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. Results support the use of aquatherapy in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, however further evidence is required to make specific recommendations in all of the aforementioned disorders. PMID:25062761

  7. Rescuing neuronal cell death by RAIDD- and PIDD- derived peptides and its implications for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Tae-Ho; Lim, In-Hye; Kim, Chang Min; Choi, Jae Young; Kim, Eun-Ae; Lee, Tae-Jin; Park, Hyun Ho

    2016-01-01

    Caspase-2 is known to be involved in oxidative-stress mediated neuronal cell death. In this study, we demonstrated that rotenone-induced neuronal cell death is mediated by caspase-2 activation via PIDDosome formation. Our newly designed TAT-fused peptides, which contains wild-type helix number3 (H3) from RAIDD and PIDD, blocked the PIDDosome formation in vitro. Furthermore, peptides inhibited rotenone-induced caspase-2-dependent apoptosis in neuronal cells. These results suggest that PIDD- or RAIDD-targeted peptides might be effective at protecting against rotenone-induced neurotoxicity. Our peptides are novel neuronal cell apoptosis inhibitors that might serve as a prototype for development of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27502430

  8. Therapeutic actions of translocator protein (18 kDa) ligands in experimental models of psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Arbo, B D; Benetti, F; Garcia-Segura, L M; Ribeiro, M F

    2015-11-01

    Translocator protein (TSPO) is an 18kDa protein located at contact sites between the outer and the inner mitochondrial mem